Celebrate, Collaborate, Concerto! Dean Billmeyer and GTCYS Symphony

April 14, 2023

Check out these featured facts before the GTCYS Symphony Celebrating Dean Billmeyer
performance in-person and livestream Apr 18 and on-demand through Apr 23.

Dean Billmeyer smiling in a light

Billmeyer’s Four Decades

Award-winning organist Dean Billmeyer celebrates his forty-first (and final!) year as the University Organist and Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota.

International Acclaim

Professor Billmeyer’s many accomplishments range from prizes at the Dublin International Organ Festival Competition, in 1980 and 1988, to being nominated for the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”, for one of the best classical recordings in Germany in 2018 with a recording entitled Straube Plays Bach.

Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies

GTCYS’ Impact

Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) has opened doors to music learning since 1972, providing a pathway for over 16,000 student participants of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

Francis Poulenc

Popular Poulenc

Composed between 1934 and 1938, Francis Poulenc’s Concerto Pour Orgue, Cordes et Timbales (Concerto for Organ, Timpani, and Strings) is one of the most frequently performed works of its kind outside the Baroque period.

The Northrop Organ

“The King of Instruments”

Billmeyer notes, “Poulenc was aware of the difficulties involved in combining ‘The King of Instruments’ with a symphony orchestra—his solution was to score the work for a string orchestra, only adding tympani for rhythmic incisiveness. The enormous range of colors at Northrop's historic Aeolian-Skinner organ, as well as our instrument's grandeur, give this work a wonderful sense of both monumentality and exquisite beauty.”

Astronaut Neil Armstrong on the moon

A New Meaning to New World Symphony

Antonín Dvořák composed From The New World in 1893 while directing the National Conservatory of Music in America and completed it in Spillville, IA. Astronaut Neil Armstrong brought the popularity of this music (literally) to new heights when he took a recording of the symphony to the moon in 1969.