Mormon Tabernacle Principal Organist, Richard Elliot will be in concert at the First Presbyterian Church in Greenwood on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 4pm.
Elliott is the Principal Organist at the famous Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland and studied at the Peabody Conservatory and the Catholic University of America. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
He served as assistant professor of organ at Brigham Young University and was appointed as Tabernacle organist in 1991. He is also a former assistant organist for Philadelphia’s famed Wanamaker organ. He sits on the advisory boards for the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ and the Eccles Organ Festival at Salt Lake City’s Cathedral of the Madeleine.
Elliott loved music as a child and loved to listen to his mother play the piano. As a teenager, he played the organ in a rock band, which included flaming speakers, smoke machines, and flash pots that caused the group to be blacklisted because of the fire hazard.
In 2009, the tendon of his left bicep ruptured and he had two options: leave it to heal and regain mobility, which would lessen the strength in his arm, or undergo surgery to repair it, which might cause nerve damage. He chose surgery and while recovering, he focused on practicing on the organ’s pedal keyboard. That effort has led him to be especially skilled on the pedal keyboard and he often uses his skill in organ solos.
Elliott and his wife, pianist Elizabeth Cox Ballantyne, are the parents of two sons.
Music by: Bach, Mozart, Vierne, Franck, Purvis, Cundick, Gershwin, Wagner and Elliott