Ken Cowan

Associate Professor of Organ
BMus (1997) Curtis Institute of Music
MMus (1999), Artist Diploma (2000) Yale University School of Music

2270 Alice Pratt Brown Hall
713-348-4395
kencowan@rice.edu

Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

 

Ken Cowan is one of North America’s finest concert organists. Praised for his dazzling artistry, impeccable technique and imaginative programming by audiences and critics alike, he maintains a rigorous performing schedule which takes him to major concert venues in America, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Recent feature performances have included appearances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa California, Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall, Spivey Hall, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as concerts in Germany and Korea. In addition, Mr. Cowan has been a featured artist in recent years at the national conventions of the American Guild of Organists held in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, has performed at many regional conventions of the AGO, and has been featured at several conventions of the Organ Historical Society and the Royal Canadian College of Organists.

Numerous critically acclaimed compact disc recordings are available by Mr. Cowan. His most recent releases are Ken Cowan plays The Great Organ (on the Pro Organo Label) which was recorded on the newly-restored organ at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City, Works of Franz Liszt (on the JAV label), which was recorded on the Michael Quimby organ at First Baptist church in Jackson Mississippi, and Ken Cowan Plays Romantic Masterworks (on the Raven label), which was recorded on the 110-rank Schoenstein organ at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. In addition to his solo recordings, Mr. Cowan also joined organist Justin Bischof in the world premiere recording of American composer Aaron Miller’s Double Concerto for organ, recorded with the Zurich Symphony Orchestra on the Kleuker organ in the Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland (Ethereal Recordings). Many of Mr. Cowan’s recordings and live performances are regularly featured on the nationally distributed radio show PIPEDREAMS from American Public Media.

A native of Thorold, Ontario, Canada, Mr. Cowan received the Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, studying organ with Thomas Murray. Prior to attending Yale, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with John Weaver.

In 2012 Mr. Cowan joined the keyboard faculty of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University as Associate Professor and head of the organ program. Previous positions have included Associate Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ, where he was awarded the 2008 Rider University Distinguished Teaching Award, and Associate Organist and Artist in Residence at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in New York.