As the winner of the Grand Prix d’Interprétation at the 24th Concours International d’Orgue de Chartres, Dexter Kennedy has established himself internationally as “one of the greatest organists of our times” (Iceland Monitor). Praised for his “prodigious technique and grand style musicality” in The American Organist, his concert programs present performances that are fiery, spontaneous, and historically informed, exciting both music connoisseurs as well as people who have never experienced the organ in concert setting. In addition to concertizing, Dexter Kennedy currently serves on the music faculty of the College of Wooster as Instructor of Organ and Harpsichord. During the Fall 2017 semester, Kennedy is Guest Organ Teacher in Residence at Oberlin College and Conservatory.
Mr. Kennedy is an active recitalist throughout both Europe and North America, having performed in great cathedrals, churches, and concert halls including: Berliner Dom; St. Bavokerk, Haarlem; Slovak Philharmonic Hall, Bratislava; Chartres Cathedral; Grossmünster, Zürich; Chichester Cathedral; Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik; Basilica of St. Nazaire, Carcassone; Narbonne Cathedral; Auditorio Manuel de Falla, Granada; San Luigi Dei Francesi, Rome; St. Willibrordus Basilika, Echternach, Luxembourg; and Bergen Cathedral. His performances have been heard at the St. Albans International Organ Festival, the 51st Bratislava Music Festival, the Bergen International Organ Festival, the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians, and two regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. In 2017 he was the lone American to be invited to perform at the Catédral Primada of Bogotá, Colombia, for the Bach en Bogotá Festival, where he performed for an audience of over 2,000 people as part of the first organized performances of Bach’s complete organ works in the country’s history. In 2015 he joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra for two subscription concerts at Tanglewood with maestros Bramwell Tovey and Ludovic Morlot. His playing has been broadcast nationally on the American Public Media’s Pipedreams program. Kennedy’s 2017-2018 season will see him perform at Notre-Dame de Paris, the Eccles Organ Festival (Salt Lake City), the Arizona Bach Festival, and recitals for the Atlanta, Southern Nevada, and Houston Chapters of the American Guild of Organists.
A devoted church musician, Kennedy currently serves as the Assistant Organist of Christ Church Grosse Pointe (Michigan) where he serves as the principal organist for all choral services and concerts and directs the training of the novice boy and girl choristers. He traveled with the Christ Church Choir of Men and Boys to England and Wales in the summer of 2014, with the Christ Church Choir of Men and Girls to Spain in 2016, and with the Christ Church Schola in 2017 for choral residencies in both Salisbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Additional choir tours as a freelance accompanist have taken Kennedy to the organ benches of St. Peter’s Basilica; La Sagrada Familia; St. Patricks Cathedral, Dublin; Stephansdom, Vienna; and St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Kennedy’s previously held positions include Director of Music and Organist for Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University, Organ Scholar at St. Paul’s on the Green Episcopal Church, Norwalk, CT, and Organist for Marquand Chapel, Yale Divinity School.
Dexter Kennedy holds the Artist Diploma from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he was a pupil of James David Christie. He holds a Master of Music Degree from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, where he was a recipient of the Robert Baker Award, as well as the Mary Baker Prize for Excellence in Organ Accompaniment. Kennedy has also studied under Olivier Latry, Martin Jean, Jeffrey Brillhart (improvisation), Arthur Haas and Webb Wiggins (harpsichord), and has attended several international organ festivals where he has coached with many distinguished European artists. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing and vigorously rooting for the professional sports teams in his native Detroit.
Dexter Kennedy is represented by Seven Eight Artists.