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Philip Manwell began his musical studies in his native Northern California. He was drawn to the organ by its tonal intensity and its enormous capabilities for musical expression. He studied with San Francisco organist Harold Mueller and spent time in France studying with legendary musicians Marcel Dupre and Nadia Boulanger before settling in New York where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at The Juilliard School of Music studying organ with Bronson Ragan, Vernon deTar, and Anthony Newman. While at Juilliard, he received The Valentine Prize for organ performance, played on the dedicatory recital for the new Holtkamp organ in Paul Hall in the school’s then new Lincoln Center facility, and was asked by Suzanne Bloch to play her father Ernest Bloch’s Six Preludes for Organ to help celebrate the presentation of one of the composer’s favorite Renaissance art pieces donated to the school and installed in the new Flentrop organ studio. Returning to California, he earned a Doctorate at The University of San Francisco.

As a solo recitalist and chamber musician, Dr. Manwell has played extensively throughout the United States and Europe. He has made LP recordings for the Nola, Musical Heritage Society, and Orion Master Recordings labels as well as broadcasts for NBC Radio, the BBC, Austrian National Radio, and a video of a live performance of Scarlatti’s little known cantata The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula that he prepared and conducted for Maryland Public Broadcasting.

As a church musician, he has held positions on both coasts including Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City and Saint Francis’ Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Additionally, he was artistic director and conductor of The South Bergen Oratorio Society in New Jersey and The Valley Choral Society in California. He led this group’s first concert tour to England and Wales.

For nearly twenty-five years, Dr. Manwell was Professor and Chair of the Humanities program and, subsequently, Dean of Arts and Letters at Las Positas College in Livermore, CA, and has made presentations at a number of professional conferences and conventions including The Popular Culture Association, The National Association for Multicultural Education, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, and The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education.

Praised by critics and audiences alike for his “unassuming yet commanding stage presence,” his “seemingly effortless technical facility,” and his “deep immersion into the thought, craftsmanship, and ultimate creation of the literature he plays,” Dr. Manwell has performed the complete organ works of Bach, Frescobladi, Couperin, Buxtehude, Brahms, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Franck. He also enjoys programming more contemporary pieces by Dupre, Langlais, Messiaen , Hindemith, et al, and has had a number of choral and organ works written especially for him by Roberta Bitgood, Kenneth Durling, Bruce Saylor, Monica Houghton, and Kira Harnack. He endeavors to build programs that demonstrate connections between and among composers…their lives and the influences of the times in which they lived.

Dr. Manwell lives in Reno, Nevada, where he is Professor of Organ at the University of Nevada, Reno, an institution that offers degrees in organ at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

For the 2018 through 2020 seasons, he is offering a number of programs – some “mixed” repertoire from the Baroque period (including an all Bach program and one featuring works by Sweelinck and Scheidt) , a Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Schumann program, and one featuring contemporary composers Hindemith, Bloch, Krenek, Houghton, and Harnack.

Philip Manwell is on the roster of Concert Artist Cooperative, 730 Hawthorne Lane, Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730, and may be reached at: manwellphilip@gmail.com

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Philip Manwell