Saunders, Russell

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Saunders, Russell

Saunders, Russell, eminent American organ pedagogue; b. Montezuma, Iowa, Oct. 24, 1921; d. Rochester, N.Y, Dec. 6, 1992. He was a student of Frank Jordan at Drake Univ., where he received the degrees of B.Mus.Ed. (1948), M.M. in organ (1949), and an honorary D.Mus. (1977); also studied organ with Arthur Foister at Syracuse Univ. and on a Fulbright grant in Germany with Helmut Walcha (1953–54). From 1948 to 1967 he taught organ and church music at Drake Univ., and then at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., from 1967 until his death. Early in his Eastman years, Saunders gave up public performance and devoted himself to the study of historical performance practices. He became an acknowledged authority and appeared frequently as a lecturer and master teacher at workshops and conferences.


K. Snyder, ed., The Organist as Scholar: Essays in Memory of R. S. (Stuyvesant, N.Y., 1994).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire