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Robert Bates

Robert Bates is Associate Professor of Organ at the Moores School of Music, the University of Houston. Previously he was University Organist at Stanford University, where he received a Ph.D. in musicology. Dr. Bates is a specialist in early Spanish and French organ music, the history of theory, and early tuning systems; his articles have appeared in the Organ Yearbook, Music and Letters, Histoire des Sciences and Performance Practice Review. He has won prizes for organ performance in Fort Wayne, San Antonio, Detroit and Bruges, and has also been awarded the Prix d'Excellence and the Prix de Virtuosité from the class of Marie-Claire Alain. Other teachers of performance and improvisation include Robert Anderson, Ray Ferguson and Daniel Roth.

He is frequently invited to appear at conferences sponsored by organizations such as the American Guild of Organists, the Organ Historical Society, the American Organ Academy, the American Musicological Society, the Westfield Center and the American Institute of Organ Builders. He has performed solo recitals at Stanford University, Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame, Northwestern University, Westminster Choir College, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Eastman School of Music, Duke University, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Vassar College, Princeton Seminary and the University of Michigan, where he participated in a seminar on Early French Organ Music as both a recitalist and lecturer.

Dr. Bates was invited to give a paper and perform at the Colloque International Dom Bedos in Bordeaux, France in May 2004, where he also presented the final paper of the conference on a previously unknown 18th-century French music manuscript. Also in 2004 he judged the semi-final round of the NYACOP and final round of the Miami International Competitions and led workshops at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Los Angeles and at the National Pedagogy Conference of the American Guild of Organists in Denton, Texas. More recently he was invited to perform at the Oaxaca Organ and Early Music Festival in Oaxaca, Mexico and the Westfield Center’s symposium on the dual temperament organ by Martin Pasi in the Cathedral of St. Cecilia in Omaha, Nebraska. He was also invited to perform a recital on the new organ by Paul Fritts at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana as part of it’s inaugural year of concerts and the first of a special series of concerts by American organists on the Fisk organ in Minato Mirai Hall in Yokohama, Japan.

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Daquin and the French Noel / Bates In Dialogue, v.1 - Robert Bates - David Yearsley Dances and Chansons of the French Renaissance / Bates - Digital Album
Daquin and the French Noel / Bates
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In Dialogue, v.1/Bates & Yearsley
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Robert Bates plays the complete organ works of Daquin on the multi-temperament Fisk organ at Stanford Memorial Church. Two extraordinary organists playing two extraordinary organs in dialogue might seem an over-abundance of riches. Yet it is possible that the great organists of earlier times enjoyed responding to each other across vast spaces. This new recording, which includes compositions by six masters of the North German School, recreates this sound and ambience using two mean-tone organs in Stanford's Memorial Church. Robert Bates performs selections from Attaingnant's compilation of dances and chansons on an organ with the oldest playing facade pipes in France (1568).
Viaticum - Robert Bates Complete Organ Works of Jehan Titelouze / Bates (3 CDs!) Complete organ works Correa/Bates (5 CDs!)
Viaticum/Robert Bates (3 CDs!)
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Complete organ works Correa/Bates (5 CDs!)
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This unusual 3-CD set documents a tri-part program of 20th-century music, organized and composed by Robert Bates. It includes many world premier recordings. With interspersed spoken texts and imaginative programming, Bates explores the nature of the world and ourselves, through verbal themes and non-verbal sound paintings. Music by Bates, Ligetti, Pärt, Guillou, Alain, Hampton, Tower, Demessieux and Messaien. This is the most unusual organ recording in our collection, and it is a masterpiece of invention, symbolism and imagination. Includes 24-page book on the music and organs used, plus a 16-page graphical audience score. The Universe Within: A Journey of the Mind-- A Journey of the Body---Life after Life: A Journey of the Soul.

The first recording of the complete organ works of Jehan Titelouze, whose Magnificat and hymn settings are among France's earliest published organ works, brilliantly played by Robert Bates on the recently restored organ of 1630 in Bolbec. The Complete Organ Works of Correa de Arauxo---the first recording of hiss complete works in the New World. Using three 17th-century organs in Oaxaca, Mexico and two new organs in Spanish Baroque style in California, Robert Bates offers new insights in this neglected organ repertoire. Five CDs, and a 120 page full color book, in both Spanish and English.


"There were no dull moments Friday night. He played with an impressive command of the instrument, searching out marvelous registrations and keeping his intellect focused. He found freedom in unusual places and musical grandeur everywhere....[The smaller works] revealed the kind of colorist Bates is, just as larger works revealed Bates' ability to make great musical architecture." -Seattle PI
 "[Bates' composition] had the graphic richness of stained glass in its visual presentation. It was as exciting as any traditional organ piece, made even more tantalizing by short quotes from Bach's 'St. Anne' Fugue!" -The Diapason
"Bates' [new composition] was impressive to both eye and ear....Among its attractions was the pleasure of 'tracking' Bates' performance as it unfolded via the elaborate graphic representations provided to the audience." -Early Keyboard Studies Newsletter "
Bates has a beautifully refined technique, a profound understanding of rhythm and its subtleties, and a thorough sense of style." -The American Organist
"[Robert Bates is] one of the United States' most prominent organists. Rarely can an American organist of such high caliber be heard in Poland." -What, Where, When Warszawa
“I discovered the genius of an artist committed to beauty and yes, the “metaphysical” properties of this organ in our time… This was a not-to-be-forgotten experience!”-Herbert Huestis in The Diapason (reflections on Robert Bates recital for the Westfield Seminar on the new dual-temperament organ by Martin Pasi in St Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha, Nebraska)
 "...on ne pouvait souhaiter mieux. [ could not wish for anything better.]" -Review by Pierre Hardouin, Connoissance de l'Orgue, no. 26