STEPHEN HAMILTON, virtuoso concert organist, has long been prominent on the American organ scene. The New York Times wrote of Hamilton’s performance of the Bach Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor: “Hamilton, as minister of music at the church, obviously knew the instrument’s sonorous capabilities and brought them powerfully to bear in a rousing account.” The Charleston Daily Mail reviewed: “This performance had to be one of the supreme moments of music making in this year’s or any other year’s Orgelfest offerings.” For the past thirty years, such consistent critical review has earned Hamilton acclaim as a thoroughly engaging and popular artist and has firmly established his reputation as a leading and much sought-after personality.
Highlights of Hamilton’s career include the premiere performance of Kenton Coe's Concerto for Organ, Strings and Percussion with the Festival of Comminges Orchestra, Jean-Pierre Marty conducting, in France, and a performance of the Enrico Bossi Organ Concerto with the Detroit Symphony, David Zinman, conducting. He frequently appears with regional orchestras playing concertos of Handel, Albinoni, Hindemith, Piston, Copland, Rheinberger, and Poulenc; and recently appeared with the Austin (Texas) Symphony orchestra, Peter Bay, conductor, performing the Barber Toccata Festiva.
Hamilton has been heard in hundreds of solo recitals and on the nationally broadcast radio program Pipe Dreams as well as WETS-FM's Pipes, Pedals and Pistons. His recitals feature solo works from the standard repertoire as well as ensemble works for organ and instruments. Often in these recitals he enjoys collaborating with local musicians. Additionally he has been heard as collaborative artist with choral ensembles in the concert Requiems of Fauré, Duruflé, Mozart, and Vierne, and Handel’s “Messiah.”
Hamilton has gained an increasingly popular presence for his vivid and moving interpretation of Marcel Dupré’s Le Chemin de la Croix, in over forty concert performances. In 1992 a stunningly inspirational performance in New York City featured narration, dramatic lighting, and modern dance choreographed by Lynn Parkerson which led to subsequent liturgical dance collaborations. His compact disc release of Le Chemin de la Croix met with exceptional reviews from a number of magazines and trade journals including The American Organist and The American Record Guide.
Stephen Hamilton is Minister of Music Emeritus at the historic Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal), in New York City, where he conducted the semi-professional Holy Trinity Choir and was Artistic Director of Music at Holy Trinity, the church's subscription concert series, for twenty years. The New York Times acknowledges that Hamilton’s concert series “is an important venue for week-end presentations.”
In addition to his duties at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Hamilton was a member of the artist faculties of Hunter, Manhattan School of Music, and Queens College. Hamilton is in demand as a clinician for master classes and workshops, frequently lecturing on issues related to church music as well as organ pedagogy, performance, and interpretation. His classes on various aspects of church service playing were featured at the Church Music Conference of the University of the South in the summer of 2001. His church music repertoire classes were presented at the 2002, 2004 and 2006 National Conventions of the American Guild of Organists in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Chicago. The Pipe Organ Encounters program of the AGO has often engaged Hamilton as clinician and teacher.
As a writer, Hamilton championed the music of American composer Kenton Coe in his doctoral thesis at the Manhattan School of Music. Subsequently Part I of that research was published in the June 1996 issue of The American Organist. Additionally, Coe's Fantasy for Organ was recorded at The Church of the Holy Trinity and is included in the Great Organs of New York compact disc collection issued by B&V Recordings.
Hamilton served as Dean of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists from 1998-2004, and was the program chairman of the Region II AGO convention in New York City in July of 2007.