-The American Organist Magazine
ANGELA KRAFT CROSS
Concert Organist, Pianist, Composer
Angela Kraft Cross, San Francisco Bay Area organist, pianist and composer, graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in 1980 with bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Organ Performance. She then earned her Doctor of Medicine degree at Loma Linda University, where she subsequently completed her residency in ophthalmology. In 1993, she completed her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the College of Notre Dame with Thomas LaRatta. Her organ teachers have included Louis Robilliard, Marie-Louise Langlais, Sandra Soderlund, S. Leslie Grow, William Porter and Garth Peacock. In 2001, she was awarded the Associateship credential of the American Guild of Organists (AAGO) after passing rigorous playing and written examinations. She has studied composition with Pamela Decker.
Dr. Kraft Cross has performed extensively on both organ and piano, having given over five hundred concerts across the United States, in Canada, England, Holland, France, Russia, Finland, Hungary, Korea, Lesotho and Guam, including such venues as Notre Dame Cathedral, St. Sulpice and the Madeleine in Paris, Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Thomas Church in New York City, Methuen Memorial Music Hall and Trinity Church in Boston, E. Power Biggs’ organ at Harvard, and Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral in London. She has been featured soloist with local Bay Area ensembles; Master Sinfonia Orchestra, Soli Deo Gloria, Sine Nomine, Masterworks Chorale, Viva la Musica, The Choral Project, and the San Jose Symphonic Choir as well as Seattle’s Philharmonia Northwest Chamber Orchestra and the Skagit Symphony in northern Washington. In October 2017, Viva la Musica performed her composition Exsultate Deo on their international tour to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia.
In July 2011, Dr. Kraft Cross was a featured recitalist at the San Francisco AGO Region IX Convention. She has released eight solo CD albums, recorded locally in California as well as in Paris, Lyon and London. Three of her organ albums have received critical acclaim in The American Organist magazine. Her organ recordings can be heard on Pipedreams with Michael Barone on American Public Media, and are accessible on Spotify and other streaming services. Starting in 2018, Lorenz Music/Sacred Music Press has begun publishing her compositions and has released two books of organ compositions: Tree of Life and Journey to Wholeness. They have also published her anthems Exsultate Deo and What Does the Lord Require of You? During the Covid19 pandemic, she has built a YouTube channel of organ and piano performances: Angela Kraft Cross organist. For the National Prayer Service associated with the 2021 Presidential Inauguration, Thomas Sheehan performed her “Healing” movement from Journey to Wholeness for the postlude at Washington National Cathedral. She has served as the organist of the Congregational Church of San Mateo since 1993, and is currently the Artist in Residence. She is also a regular organ recitalist at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor as well as at St. Mary’s Cathedral and Mission Dolores in San Francisco.
In addition to her musical career, Dr. Kraft Cross retired in 2011 having worked for 22 years as an ophthalmic surgeon at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Redwood City, and now volunteers as an ophthalmologist at the Samaritan Houses in Redwood City and San Mateo. She is committed to the musical education of young people, and since 1997 has been instrumental in organizing an annual Organ Camp for young pianists headquartered at her church. She deeply enjoys teaching and a number of her students have gone on to incorporate organ study in their university studies in schools such as Oberlin, USC, Stanford and UC Berkeley. Dr. Kraft Cross is the founding director of the San Francisco Peninsula Organ Academy, a nonprofit organization formed in 2014 to support young concert organists with scholarships on short intensive overseas study trips. She also served as faculty and/or performed in Pipe Organ Encounters in San Francisco 2005, San Diego 2012, and Stanford 2013 and 2016 and Los Angeles 2018. She has been the President of the Junior Bach Festival in Berkeley since 2018.