60-Second Critic: Cooper Memorial Organ

The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ
Verizon Hall

A card-carrying NRA-member friend likes to talk about the power he feels when discharging his firearm. It’s a sentiment I don’t disagree with, having pulled my share of triggers over the years. But that’s a mere delusion


The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ
Verizon Hall

A card-carrying NRA-member friend likes to talk about the power he feels when discharging his firearm. It’s a sentiment I don’t disagree with, having pulled my share of triggers over the years. But that’s a mere delusion of grandeur compared to the omnipotence derived from playing the Kimmel Center’s new $6.4 million, 32-ton pipe organ, as I recently had the opportunity to do. I’m no Bach or even Larry Ferrari, but a dozen years of classical piano training helped me fumble through some impressive arpeggiated chords and droning low octaves. I wanted to see what “Smoke on the Water” sounds like through nearly 7,000 pipes and 111 stops, but with Mervon Mehta (Zubin’s son) and Curtis’s organ guru, Alan Morrison, looking on, I opted for a little Rachmaninoff instead. Legendary jazz organist and Philly girl Trudy Pitts will debut this baby for real on September 15th. Grade: A+