The film, adapted from Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opera was originally released in 1925 as a silent horror film. The story follows the disfigured Phantom, played by Lon Chaney, as he causes havoc throughout the Paris Opera House. The destruction and bloodshed are all in the name of love, as The Phantom tries to win the heart of a young opera singer by making her a star.
Accompaniment to the film will be provided by Organist, Todd Wilson on Stambaugh Auditorium’s 1926 E.M. Skinner pipe organ. Todd Wilson is head of the Organ Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Director of Music & Worship at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland, OH. He is the curator of the E.M. Skinner pipe organ at Severance Hall and House Organist for the Aeolian Organ at the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron. An active interest in improvisation has led to his popular improvised accompaniments to classic, silent films.
Wilson, one of America’s leading concert organists, has been Trinity’s organist and artist-in-residence since late 2009. A native Ohioan, he was director of music and organist at The Church of the Covenant in Cleveland for nineteen years, and continues as head of the organ department at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Having grown up in the men and boys choir of Trinity Church in Toledo, the choirs and music of the Anglican tradition have been an influential part of Wilson’s musical life. During graduate school, he served as organist and choirmaster at Calvary Episcopal Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. During 1978-79 he served as a visiting assistant in music at Canterbury Cathedral in England under Dr. Allan Wicks. At the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation on Long Island, Wilson directed one of the longest-running choirs of men and boys in continuous existence in the United States. He frequently presents workshops on Anglican choral and organ music, and on service playing. He has been organ clinician at the Evergreen Episcopal Church Musicians Conference, the Montreat Conference on Worship and Music, the Interlochen National Music Camp, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, and the Sewanee National Church Music Conference.
Wilson is also organ curator of the recently restored Norton Memorial Organ (E. M. Skinner, 1931) in Severance Hall, and is house organist at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, where he plays the restored 1915 Aeolian organ.
He has been heard in concert in many major cities throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, including concerts at Symphony Hall (Birmingham, UK), Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center, and Uihlein Hall in Milwaukee.
Wilson’s latest CDs were released in 2005. One is on the JAV label, featuring a live recital of American music from the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. The other is entitled “Live from Severance Hall” and is a concert of music for trumpet and organ with Michael Sachs, Principal Trumpet of The Cleveland Orchestra. The New York Times called Wilson’s Durufle recording a “ravishing disc.”
Wilson received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and completed further study at The Eastman School of Music. He has won numerous competitions, including the prestigious French Grand Prix de Chartres, the Fort Wayne Competition, the Strader National Scholarship Competition and the national competition sponsored by the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.