Katelyn Emerson

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With her busy concertizing and teaching schedule throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, Katelyn Emerson is known as both “a star of the first rank, and an ambassador for the organ” (Orgue Canada).  A prizewinner of competitions on three continents, Katelyn’s stellar performances and warm personality garner acclaim from listeners new to classical music and organ aficionados alike.  With innovative programs, custom-made for each instrument, and deeply personal interpretations, Katelyn and the organ are true partners in music-making.


“Katelyn Emerson’s demonstration of the Mother Church organ [Boston, MA] really blew us away.  Not in the least afraid of this 242-rank instrument, she commanded every bit of it with a careful ear and sense of musicality that puts her at the top of recitalists performing today.”

Journal of American Organbuilding, November 2016

“… first prize-winner of this year’s NYACOP, Katelyn Emerson, who gave a stunning recital at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church the day before the convention.  Her strong background in historical performance was evident in the Buxtehude D-minor Praeludium, B[ux]WV 140, which she interpreted stylishly despite the organ’s antithetical aesthetic.  Her playing demonstrated a strong command of rhythm and wonderful sense of pacing, whether in the lilting flow of Vierne’s Naïades or in the rhetorical flourishes of Tournemire’s Victimae paschali.  A highlight of Emerson’s program was Thierry Escaich’s Evocation (2008), which she interpreted with great sensitivity, shaping its minimalist textures into compelling phrases.  Her expert handling of the organ was apparent throughout, especially in the lyrical lines of Frank Bridge’s Adagio and in the first movement of Dupré’s Symphonie II in C-sharp minor, which concluded the program with exciting artistry.”

The American Organist, September 2016

“Emerson … shows every indication that she will become one of her generation’s most prominent organists.”

“Emerson is an assured, thoughtful interpreter whose strength lies in an ability to marshal the power of seemingly opposing qualities.  She conveyed the excitement within the works she played … by taking a calm, reasoned approach and allowing the music’s tensions to build without overstatement.  Her approach to coloration is subtle, rather than showing, yet … she draws widely on the instrument’s resources, and she is not afraid of a true pianissimo.”

“Perhaps most crucially, in works as varied as Herbert Howells’ Rhapsody (Op. 17, No. 3), Jehan Alain’s Litanies (JA 119) and Mozart’s Fantasia (K608), she focused on the music’s heft and breadth, yet within the sweep of her readings, she did full justice to the works’ considerable intricacies.”

Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald, August 2016


“… Katelyn Emerson dazzled …”

The American Organist, September 2014

“… exciting and musical playing … I feel encouraged about the future of the organ returning to the forefront as a recital instrument. You are certainly a rising star.”

L’Organo, June 2014

“Amazing, incredible, and inspiring were just some of the adjectives I heard our members use to describe [Katelyn’s] seemingly effortless performance.”

Lexington Chapter, American Guild of Organists, October 2012