“James D. Hicks has enriched the contemporary Nordic repertoire by commissioning many new compositions of the highest standards. His Nordic Journey recordings have received international acclaim.”
–Orgelforum, Sweden, Spring 2016, Review by Anders Johnsson
“It is clear that (James Hicks) has an affinity for and deep understanding of this music. He possesses the technique and artistry to convey the varying contrasting emotions that spring from this land. We owe deep gratitude to Hicks for bringing to us these hidden treasures, here played brilliantly and alluringly.”
–The American Organist, January, 2016, Review by James Hildreth
“Hicks presents a treasure-trove of music which should certainly be of great interest. These recordings simply must be heard.”
–From the January/February 2015 edition of Choir And Organ. Five star review by Douglas Hollock.
“Hicks’ double album Nordic Journey contains a discerning collection of Nordic organ compositions from a period of 150 years. The recording on the discs is terrific and the organ adjusts itself to the entire spectrum of compositional styles. And by the way, do non-Finns know how to play Finnish organ music? In light of Hicks’ Nordic Journey, the answer is yes-very well!”
–from Organum, Finland 2013, Review by Ville Urponen
“The concert was exquisitely played, and the organ’s many colorful stops were utilized for the three major works on the program. Hicks played all of these pieces with musical conviction, technical prowess, and most important with an intent to present this lesser known music to American audiences.”
–Classical Sonoma, 9 November 2012, Review by Harold Julander
James D. Hicks is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA and holds degrees in music from the Peabody Institute of Music, Yale University and the University of Cincinnati. Other studies include instruction at the Royal School of Church Music in England. He is an Associate of the American Guild of Organists. Hicks held liturgical positions throughout the eastern United States, and in 2011 retired after twenty-six years of service at The Presbyterian Church in Morristown, New Jersey.
James has performed throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Most recently in 2015, he participated in The International Organ Summer, held at the Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland, Summartónar in the Faroe Islands, and the Organo Novo festival of contemporary music in Helsinki, Finland. James was a featured guest on Pipedreams, a nationally syndicated broadcast devoted to the music of the pipe organ in 2014 (Broadcast #1438) as well as appearing in the same year on Wisconsin Public Radio. In July 2013 he participated in several organ series in Finland, including the Helsinki Organ Summer and the Turku Summer Festival. He played for Swedish National Radio in March 2012, a broadcast that included world premieres of several modern works from that country.
James has recorded six collections of organ music on the American Pro Organo label. The first, 2003’s American Classic (Pro Organo#7187), highlights the rebuilt Austin organ at The Presbyterian Church in Morristown, New Jersey, and contains many recorded premieres of twentieth and twenty-first century American works, including two original compositions.
For more information about James D. Hicks, please visit www.jamesdhicks.com.
Over the past decade, Hicks has immersed himself in the study of Nordic music, creating a series for Pro Organo entitled Nordic Journey. Nordic Journey seeks to celebrate a relatively unknown corner of the repertoire by creating new compositions (fifteen commissions thus far) from acclaimed artists, rediscovering unpublished and/or forgotten works from the early twentieth century, and, finally, including some of the standard masterworks from this tradition. Hicks began Nordic Journey in 2010, and has completed the following recordings:
Nordic Journey (Pro Organo #7239), a double cd recorded on the historic 1929 Setterquist organ at Linköping Cathedral, Linköping, Sweden. Recorded and released in 2010, this collection contains compositions from the Romantic and Modern eras.
Nordic Journey, Volume II - The Nordic Symphonic Tradition (Pro Organo #7262), a single cd recorded on the rebuilt Åkerman & Lund organ at St. Johannes’ Church, Malmö, Sweden. Recorded in 2013 and released in 2014, this volume devotes itself to the Nordic Romantic repertoire.
Nordic Journey, Volume III - Swedish Folkways and Classic Traditions (Pro Organo #7263), a single cd recorded on the Andersen organ at Skara Cathedral, Skara, Sweden. This edition of the series was recorded in 2013, released in 2014, and highlights differing aspects of the Swedish school.
Nordic Journey, Volume IV - Modern Masters (Pro Organo #7264), a single cd utilizing the restored Åkerman & Lund organ at Västerås Cathedral, Västerås, Sweden. As the title suggests, this disc features works by living composers.
Nordic Journey, Volume V - Many Landscapes (Pro Organo #7271), a double cd that is the premiere recording of the new Tostareds Kyrkorgelfabrik instrument at Kalmar Cathedral, Kalmar, Sweden. Volume V was recorded and released in 2015. Works spanning the Nordic world from such far-flung nations as Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark offer a varied view of Nordic culture.
Volumes VI and VII, both single discs and each devoted to the organ music of Finland, will be recorded at two venues in Turku, Finland in June of 2016. Turku Cathedral will be the location for a presentation of large-scale works, while the colorful organ at St. Michael’s Church will offer primarily a program of miniatures. Volume VIII is slated to feature the three organs at Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway, the national church of that country and a historic place of pilgrimage. This double cd will be recorded in Trondheim during August of 2017. Future releases from Iceland and Denmark are also in the planning stages.