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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 20, 2008

Organ recital at Gloria Dei will honor Gerhard Krapf Nov. 28

Colleagues, family and former students of Gerhard Krapf, an extraordinary organist and composer who founded the organ department at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a memorial and tribute recital in Krapf's honor at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, in Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.

The performance will be free and open to the public.

Krapf, who taught at the UI from 1962 to 1977, died this past summer. Former UI President Willard "Sandy" Boyd, who helped secure the funding for the organs that were crucial to the development of the organ department under Krapf and his successors at the university, will provide introductory remarks to the recital.

The concert was organized by Davis Folkerts, emeritus professor of music at Central College in Pella, Iowa, and emeritus minister of music at Second Reformed Church in Pella. A student of Krapf, he received the first doctorate in organ performance and pedagogy in the program that Krapf established.

Other performers on the memorial recital will be:

--Delbert Disselhorst, who joined the UI organ faculty in 1970 and taught with Krapf until the latter's departure from the UI in 1977. Disselhorst retired from the UI earlier this year.

-- Julia Harlow, director of music and organist at Second Presbyterian Church, Charleston, S.C., who teaches at the College of Charleston. While studying with Disselhorst at the UI, she took courses from Krapf in Church Service Playing, Organ Building and Thoroughbass.

-- Richard Hass, who received master's and doctoral degrees and a Marshall Fellowship having studied with Disselhorst and Krapf at the UI. He taught at Blackburn College and Concordia University, Milwaukee, and is presently organist at St. Paul/St. John Lutheran Churches in Whiting, Ind.

-- Gerhild Krapf of Iowa City, who learned music from her father, studied with Disselhorst and received bachelor's and master's degrees in organ from the UI.

-- John Seboldt, who is organist at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, Wisc. He studied with Krapf in spring 1977 during his final semester of studies for the master's degree at Iowa.

-- Mary Holz Seboldt, who is director of music at Nativity Lutheran Church, Wauwatosa, Wisc., and was a student of Krapf in the master's program at the UI.

-- Stephen Steely, who is minister of music and organist at First Lutheran Church in Moline, Ill., organist at St. Pius X Church in Rock Island, Ill., and director of music and organist at Temple Emanuel Davenport, Iowa. He holds degrees in organ, sacred music and music history from Hastings (Neb.) College and Southern Methodist University, and did doctoral work at the UI.

--Rudolf Zuiderveld, professor of music at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill., and organist at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Ill. He studied with Krapf and later received a doctorate in Organ Performance and Pedagogy.

The program will include several works by Krapf, along with music by J.S. Bach and other composers from the German organ tradition. A public reception will follow the recital in the lounge adjacent to the nave.

A native of Germany and survivor of a Russian labor camp after World War II, Krapf studied organ in Karlsruhe, Germany, and the United States. He attained U.S. citizenship in 1959 and taught in Michigan, Missouri and Wyoming before he came to the UI in 1962 to found the organ department.

During his tenure at the UI, he built the department and oversaw the installation of the first organs at the UI School of Music. In recognition of his efforts, an organ performance hall in the Voxman Music Building was named the Krapf Organ Studio. Although the organ studios, along with other spaces in the Voxman Music Building, were damaged by the past summer's flooding, the instruments that Krapf secured for the UI were saved and are currently being restored for future use.

Krapf left the UI in 1977 to start the organ department at the University of Alberta (Canada) in Edmonton. He received the University of Alberta's J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research in 1984, and retired from the university in 1987. Krapf passed away July 2, 2008. More information is available at

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Visit the UI School of Music Web site at

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),