" beautifully [played] by a sensitive and creative artist"
-American Record Guide
-The American Organist Magazine
"intelligent and especially sensitive to the lyrical qualities of the music."
-American Record Guide
"a solid performer with ample technical facility and fine musicianship"
-The American Organist
Concert Organist, Conductor, & Teacher
Margaret Martin Kvamme is a Canadian-born professional musician based in the San Francisco Bay Area who teaches private lessons in organ, piano, conducting and music theory. She performs as a solo artist and collaboratively with an emphasis on Baroque and 20th century works. She has a special interest in thematic programming and performing the works of female composers. Margaret Martin Kvamme has been described in The American Organist as "a solid performer with ample technical facility and fine musicianship.” The American Record Guide has called her "intelligent and especially sensitive to the lyrical qualities of the music."
Ms. Kvamme won first prize in the 1993 Naples International Organ Festival Competition in Florida. Solo organ engagements have taken her throughout the San Francisco Bay area, to the central California coast, her native Ontario, Canada, and also to Michigan, New York, Nevada and Arizona. She has appeared on the Distinguished Women at the Console series in Akron, Ohio and the Paul S. Hesselink Organ Recital Series at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Ms. Kvamme has performed at Holsclaw Hall at the University of Arizona and at Memorial Chapel at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She has presented workshops at regional conventions of The American Guild of Organists. Four of her students have won the San Jose AGO Chapter Frasier Scholarship, and one was an AGO Quimby Regional Competition winner. She was featured twice as solo artist with the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival and has been heard several times on the nationally syndicated public radio program Pipedreams.
She has held university choral director positions, first as Director of Choral Activities at Marygrove College in Detroit and later as Director of the Concert Choir at the University of California at Santa Cruz where she also taught theory and conducting courses. Ms. Kvamme served as Director of Music for Joint Venture Churches in San Jose for six years, leading two adult choirs and playing the organ for Episcopal and United Church of Christ congregations. She also has been Director of Music and Liturgy for First Lutheran Church in Palo Alto. Currently she plays as a substitute and special service organist, including at Stanford University, while focusing on solo recitals and teaching.
For fifteen years, Ms. Kvamme was organist for the Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos, where she recently was named Organist Emerita. She appeared in concert multiple times at PCLG as featured organist with the Silicon Valley Symphony, in works ranging from Poulenc’s Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, to Holst’s The Planets. She continues teaching organ lessons at the church and acts as curator of the Möller-Schoenstein pipe organ.
Ms. Kvamme is an honors graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, holds the Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, and Master of Music degrees in Organ Performance and Choral Conducting from the University of Michigan. Her studies at the organ have been with David Craighead, Robert Glasgow, David Higgs, David Palmer and Sandra Soderlund. Her debut solo album, Sevenfold Gifts, was released by the Albany label in 2007 and was recorded on the 1898 Felgemaker organ at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz. The American Record Guide called the recording "... beautifully [played] by a sensitive and creative artist" and "an interesting program well played on an exquisite instrument;" it is available on itunes and amazon.com. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms. Kvamme recorded the entire Orgelbüchlein chorales of J. S. Bach; these can be heard on her YouTube channel.