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Meet the Academy's world-renowned organists.

Academy Instructors

Peter Richard Conte

peter richard conte

Peter Richard Conte is the Principal Organist at Longwood Gardens, and is long-time organist at the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ at Macy's in Philadelphia. Since 1991, he has served as Choirmaster and Organist of Saint Clement's Church, Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, where he teaches Organ Improvisation. Mr. Conte is highly regarded as a skillful performer and arranger of organ transcriptions. Mr. Conte performs extensively throughout the management of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, and has appeared as a featured artist at American Guild of Organists' National and Regional Conventions.


Alan Morrison

Alan Morrison

Alan Morrison is recognized as one of America's premier concert organists, performing in prestigious venues across the United States and in Canada, as well as in international festivals. He is champion of twentieth- and twenty-first-century composers, personally introducing their works to audiences in recitals and concerts, and enjoys collaborating with vocalists and other instrumentalists in chamber programs. Mr. Morrison is the Head of the Organ Department at the Curtis Institute of Music, Associate Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and College Organist at Ursinus College. He frequently conducts master classes sponsored by the American Guild of Organists.


Guest Instructors

Ken Cowan

Alan Morrison

A native of Thorold, Ontario, Canada, Ken Cowan received the Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Prior to attending Yale, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In 2012 Mr. Cowan joined the keyboard faculty of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University as Associate Professor and head of the organ program. He is one of North America’s finest concert organists, praised for his dazzling artistry, impeccable technique and imaginative programming by audiences and critics alike. Mr. Cowan maintains a rigorous performing schedule which takes him to major concert venues in America, Canada, Europe, and Asia.


John Schwandt

John Schwandt

John Schwandt is professor of organ and director of the American Organ Institute (AOI) at the University of Oklahoma School of Music. At home in many genres of music, he can be encountered in concert across America, on many episodes of Minnesota Public Radio’s syndicated program Pipedreams, accompanying silent films in churches and concert halls, on a CD by the rock band Shiny Toy Guns, as leader of hymn festivals, consultant on organ projects, and as judge and clinician in many settings. He is well known for his ability as improvisator and for engaging and exciting audiences of every kind.