PHILIP HAHN DIES AT AGE 67
Twenty-eighth President of
the American Guild of Organists
NEW YORK CITY The American Guild of Organists (AGO) is very sad to announce the death of PHILIP HAHN, AAGO, the Guilds immediate past president. He died peacefully at his home in San Francisco, Calif. on Sunday, April 13, 2003 from complications of myelofibrosis, a disease of the bone marrow. From 1992 to 2002, Philip Hahn was a member of the National Council of the American Guild of Organists and served as president from 1998 to 2002. He is survived by his partner of 29 years Norman Nagao; two sisters, Thelma Copeland of Adrian, Mich., and Jean Redman of Dallas, Tex.; and a number of nephews and nieces. A memorial service will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church in Ross, Calif. on Sunday, May 4 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the Philip Hahn Scholarship at the American Guild of Organists, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1260, New York, N.Y. 10115.
During his professional career, Philip Hahn was an associate professor of music at the University of Northern Iowa, where he oversaw the installation of a large four-manual organ built by Robert Noehren. While in Iowa, he was director of music at Waterloos First United Methodist Church. After moving to California, Dr. Hahn served as director of music at the First Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto for several years before being appointed artistic director of the San Francisco Boys Chorus. His tenure with the Boys Chorus was highlighted by several concert tours that included concerts at Westminster Abbey, Chester Cathedral, Tivoli Garden, Notre Dame Cathedral among many outstanding venues. During his solo organ tours he enjoyed playing some of the worlds great instruments including those at St. Thomas Church and the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in New York City; the Frederikskirken in Copenhagen; Coventry Cathedral; Washington National Cathedral; St. Marys Cathedral in San Francisco, and Pasadena Presbyterian Church. He was a featured recitalist, workshop leader, and adjudicator at many conventions of the American Guild of Organists. A favorite memory for Dr. Hahn was the 1984 AGO National Convention Workshop he shared with Virgil Thomson during which the two men reminisced about studying with Nadia Boulanger, Thomson being one of her first American students and Hahn being one of the last.
Philip Hahn loved food and was a professional chef holding the position of sous chef at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, later running his own restaurant, Fannys, in San Francisco. The latter was housed in a Victorian building in which the dining rooms were upstairs in what were the bedrooms of the home. The kitchen was downstairs in what was the sitting room, and the area that had served as the residences garage was transformed into a lounge and cabaret. For several years Hahn ran the restaurant and served as organist at the First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo, returning exclusively to church music in 1980.
From 1990 until his death, Hahn served as organist-choirmaster at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Ross, Calif., where he was also the executive director of the Friends of Music Concert Series. It was at this church that the Aeolian-Skinner Organ from 1962 was enlarged in 2001 by the Allen Organ Co.
Philip Hahn received bachelor and master of music degrees from the University of Michigan where he studied with Marilyn Mason and Robert Noehren. He earned a doctor of musical arts in composition and organ performance from Chicagos American Conservatory of Music studying with Stella Roberts and Robert Lodine. He received certificates in organ, composition, and solfeggio from the Conservatoire Americain, Fontainebleau, France, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger and André Marchal. His earlier training included piano study with Charles Rousseau, a student of Claude Debussy, and with Frances Clark.
Dr. Hahns compositions include many sacred anthems, several pieces for trumpet and organ including The Trumpet Sings Thanksgiving; Spiritual; Fanfare for Five Trumpets and Organ; two large concerted works: Fantasy for Orchestra and Acclamations! A Fanfare for Concert Band. For the organ, Hahn wrote several short hymn-based compositions plus larger works including Sonata for Organ; Songs from the Forest: A Suite for Organ and Synthesizer; and Suite for Organ Celesta, Vibraharp, and Timpani. His Sonata for Violin and Piano was the recipient of a Sigma Alpha Iota Prize. His short ballet The Dance in the Desert was fully staged at both the First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto, and at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Ross.
The AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS is the national professional association serving the organ and choral music fields. Founded in 1896 as both an educational and service organization, it sets and maintains high musical standards and promotes the under-standing and appreciation of all aspects of organ and choral music. The purpose of the AGO is to promote the organ in its historic and evolving roles, to encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, and to provide a forum for mutual support, inspiration, education, and certification of Guild members. The Guild currently serves more than 20,000 members in more than 340 local chapters throughout the United States and abroad. THE AMERICAN ORGANIST Magazine, the official journal of the AGO, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, reaches an audience of more than 24,000 each month.
This information is submitted by F. Anthony Thurman, Director of Development and Communications. For further information, please contact Dr. Thurman at AGO National Headquarters. This press release is available on the Internet at <www.agohq.org/bulletin>.