Michael Stairs: The Organist's Organist

Feb 22, 2015

When Michael Stairs sits at the organ console, the result is nothing but perfection. He is indeed the organist's organist. Stairs has been organist for The Philadelphia Orchestra since his appointment by Riccardo Muti in 1985. He taught at the Haverford School for 25 years and was beloved by his students. A graduate of Westminster Choir College, he also holds an Artist's Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music.

He is assistant organist at the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ at Macy's Center City and serves on the Executive Board of Friends of the Wanamaker Organ. Stairs is also a member of the Philadelphia Organ Quartet, with Peter Richard Conte, Rudy Lucente, and Colin Howland. A much sought-after recitalist and educational consultant, he has made numerous recordings, including several on the famed Longwood Gardens organ in Kennett Square. He is also a member of the Allen Organ Artists Program.

Michael Stairs has a new CD, Sacred and Profane: A Collection of Concert Favorites, played on the chapel organ at Philadelphia's Girard College. We'll hear selections from that CD, as well as two works he recently performed in concert on the Wanamaker Organ.

Crossover, with Jill Pasternak, airs Saturday mornings at 11:30 on WRTI-FM, with an encore Friday evenings at 7 on WRTI-HD2. Hear both on the All-Classical web stream at wrti.org.