Sorabji in Iowa: A documentary
In February 2017, the extraordinary British organist Kevin Bowyer traveled from his home in Glasgow to Iowa City in order to inaugurate the University of Iowa's majestic new organ by performing perhaps the most complex—and most certainly the longest—organ piece in history.
The UI’s new organ, built by the German company Klais Orgelbau, has its home in the new School of Music building, which opened in fall 2016 and replaces the flood-destroyed Voxman Music Building and Clapp Recital Hall.
In the 8-hour-long inaugural performance on February 10, Bowyer performed Kakhosru Sorabji’s Second Symphony for Organ Solo. Sorabji’s three organ symphonies were considered unplayable until Bowyer spent his life perfecting them. The concert in Iowa City marked the first performance of Sorabji’s Second Symphony on the North American continent.
Listeners came not only from Iowa City and Iowa, but from across the country to hear this rare performance. A milestone for the University of Iowa, this awe-inspiring concert is certainly an experience worth commemorating.
Our goal is to produce a documentary film about this historic event. Interviews with Kevin Bowyer will offer a look behind the scenes of the process of preparation and rehearsal. The film will feature images of the organ and key moments of the performance. Prominent audience members will provide informative comments on the instrument, the composer, and the piece. And last but not least, the film will explore the larger question of the toll such a larger-than-life work takes on the performing artist.
Once completed, the documentary will reach audiences well beyond Iowa City and the State of Iowa, and will contribute to the national and international visibility of the University of Iowa and Iowa City.
Your donation will help cover the production costs of the documentary film.
NOTICE: The University of Iowa Center for Advancement is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization soliciting tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of the University of Iowa. Please visit the UI Center for Advancement disclosures site for additional information.