Rowland Wateridge Posted April 5, 2019 Share Posted April 5, 2019 I regret to advise that I have heard this morning of the death of Marilyn Mason during the early hours of yesterday (US time). She was 93 and, with Wilma Jensen, of their era the undoubted doyenne of American lady organists. She joined the University of Michigan in 1947 later becoming Professor and Head of Organ there. She had studied with Maurice Duruflé and Nadia Boulanger in France. She held numerous degrees and honours and commissioned more than 75 new works for organ. In earlier years she was a prodigious recitalist, performing more than 30 times per year, including the première by an American woman organist at Westminster Abbey. She founded the UM Annual Organ Conference in 1960 which continues to this day. The University commissioned a classical organ by Charles B Fisk based on the organs of Gottfried Silberman in an ornate Silberman case which is named in her honour “The Marilyn Mason Organ”. On retirement in 2014, she held the record at 67 years of being the University of Michigan’s longest serving Faculty Member. She probably first became well-known in the UK from a photograph in W L Sumner’s book “The Organ” of her as a young woman playing her house organ in Ann Arbor. Her chief legacy will be her teaching of the many hundreds of students who passed through her classes, many of them on to their own distinguished careers. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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