Larry Palmer
Larry Palmer has been on the faculty of the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, since 1970. He is currently Professor and Head of Organ and Harpsichord and University Organist. Educated at Oberlin College Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music, Dr. Palmer is internationally known as performer, scholar, and teacher. His biography appears in The New American Grove Dictionary of Music and Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th-Century Classical Musicians (edited by Nicholas Slonimsky), as well as Who’s Who in America, and, beginning in 2009, Who’s Who in the World. He is the author of Hugo Distler and his Church Music (1967) and Harpsichord in America – a 20th-Century Revival (1989/1993), both cited as indispensable reference works. He has written more than 150 articles, many of them for The Diapason (Chicago), for which he has been harpsichord contributing editor since 1969. Two solo recordings for The Musical Heritage Society, five compact discs for Encore Performance/Limited Editions Recordings, and, most recently a recording of historic Portuguese organs, and Hommages (Harpsichord) for SoundBoard comprise his discography. Known for stylish performances of baroque music, he is also committed to contemporary works: more than 40 new scores for harpsichord, organ, and choir have been written for him by Herbert Howells, Vincent Persichetti, Gerald Near, Calvin Hampton, Ross Lee Finney, Stephen Dodgson, Rudy Davenport, Simon Sargon, Tim Broege, Glenn Spring, and others.
Palmer has appeared as organ and harpsichord soloist with SMU’s Meadows Symphony and I Palpiti Ensemble, played solo recitals throughout the U. S., in France, Portugal, and twice at the Handel House Museum in London. He presented the Winesanker Memorial Lecture in Musicology at Texas Christian University; and has been seen nationally in the PBS television documentary Landowska: Uncommon Visionary. He has organized and taught in seventeen summer harpsichord and organ workshops for SMU, many of them at the University’s Fort Burgwin campus in the forested mountains near Taos, New Mexico.

From 2004 until 2008 Palmer served as president of the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society, the oldest and largest of America’s early keyboard groups. Dr. Palmer holds the AAGO and Choirmaster certificates from the American Guild of Organists. Past-Dean of both the Tidewater and Dallas Chapters of that organization, he has appeared as harpsichord and organ soloist and lecturer at four of the AGO’s national conventions (Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco, Twin Cities).

His most recent book is Letters from Salzburg: A Music Student in Europe 1958-1959 (Eau Claire, WI: Skyline Publications, 2006), which details his first encounters with the harpsichord and the great teacher Isolde Ahlgrimm.

Email: lpalmer@smu.edu