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Genres You Will Love
Classical: Choral Music Spiritual: Praise & Worship Moods: A Cappella

By Location
United States - Illinois

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Church of the Ascension and Thomas Wikman

Thomas Wikman has had an extensive career as a choral and orchestral conductor, voice teacher and organist. As Choirmaster of Church of the Ascension since 1984, he has conducted the professional choir in more than 1,700 worship services replete with masterpieces from the year 1000 A.D. to the present, including pieces by Orlando di Lasso, Victoria, Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, Liszt, Brahms, Herbert Howells, Leo Sowerby and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Wikman is founder and conductor laureate of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque; he served as Music Director of that organization for 30 years. With Music of the Baroque, Wikman specialized in presenting the large choral works of J. S. Bach (Mass in B Minor, St. Matthew and St. John Passions, Christmas Oratorio, etc.) and also mounted many revivals of major Handel oratorios and operas (Saul, Jephtha, Athalia, Deborah, Semele, Hercules, Samson, etc.) His discography includes numerous CDs: among them a critically acclaimed Vespers of the Blessed Virgin (1610) by Claudio Monteverdi. In addition to his work at Music of the Baroque, Wikman also performed large-scale romantic and 20th-century repertoire with two groups: The Elgin Choral Union and The New Oratorio Singers and he explored smaller works conducting The Tudor Singers and The New Court Singers. He has appeared as conductor, organist and harpsichordist with the Ravinia and Grand Teton Music Festivals. In May 2002, The University of Illinois at Chicago awarded Wikman the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts (Honoris Causa) for “…making an incomparable contribution to the musical life of Chicago.”

Wikman maintains a voice studio producing students who have performed roles at the Metropolitan and Chicago Lyric Operas as well as the major European Houses including LaScala, Bayreuth, Vienna and Berlin. He is also an active organist who has played over 600 recitals. Wikman currently is the Artistic Director of the Paul Manz Organ series for the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and he was the organist and Artist-in-Residence at the Chicago Theological Seminary where he played weekly recitals. He has toured Europe seven times as an organist playing recitals in France, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Denmark and Italy. Highlights include recitals at The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice; Saint-Sulpice, Paris; and The Royal Castle at Hillerod, Denmark.