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Bate, Jennifer (Lucy)

Bate, Jennifer (Lucy)

Bate, Jennifer (Lucy), esteemed English organist, teacher, and composer; b. London, Nov. 11, 1944. She received training in piano (1947–60), theory (1959–61), and organ (1960–95), attended the Univ. of Bristol (B.A., Honours, 1966), and worked on early music at the Haslemere Festival with Carl Dolmetsch (1979–93). In 1966 she played at Birmingham Town Hall, and in 1969 made her formal London debut at Westminster Abbey. She made her first appearance in Sweden at Uppsala Cathedral and in France at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1970. Following her Italian debut at the Abbey of Vallanbrosa, near Florence, in 1973, she toured widely in Australia and New Zealand in 1974. That year, she also made her first appearance at the London Sir Henry Wood Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. She played for the first time in Denmark and Belgium in 1975 as a concert organist, although she had acted as organist in the Church of England in Brussels during the 1960s. In 1976 she made her U.S. debut in Savannah, Ga. After making her German debut at Regensburg Cathedral in 1977, she appeared for the first time in Korea in Seoul in 1978. In 1989 she made her Polish debut in Warsaw at the Autumn Festival. From 1970 she lectured as a guest at colleges and universities worldwide, and from 1977 she gave master classes in organ on a similar basis. She also was a consultant in the restoration and construction of organs from 1975. Bate’s repertoire is exhaustive, beginning with early music and extending to contemporary scores. She has played numerous concertos and has surveyed the complete organ works of such diverse masters as Liszt, Franck, and Messiaen, with whom she worked from 1975 until his death in 1992. Among composers who have dedicated works to her are Flor Peeters, William Mathias, and Peter Dickinson. Her own organ works comprise the Toccata on a Theme of Martin Shaw (1972), 4 Reflections (1981–86), Introduction and Variations on an Old French Carol (1982), Homage to 1685 (1985), II filatoio (1988), Canone Inglese (1996), Lament (1997), and Variations on a Gregorian Theme (1997).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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