by Daniel Hathaway
Both during his tenure as curator of musical arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art (1974-2004), and since 1979 as organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, Karel Paukert has combined unerring musical taste with an uncanny ability to acquire splendid keyboard instruments. The three organs and harpsichord owned by St. Paul’s will be the subject of Ars Organi, a seven-event festival beginning on September 15 that matches the instruments with the particular interests of some of Paukert’s colleagues, friends, and students.
“I don’t want to say this is my swan song,” Paukert said in a telephone conversation, “but I want to pay homage to St. Paul’s Church and its generous donors with this festival. They have maintained this music program all the way back to Walter Blodgett, who was kind of a legend here.”
St. Paul’s Church moved to the Heights from 40th and Euclid in 1928, but the Great Depression and World War II delayed its building plans beyond the construction of a parish hall until 1952. [Read more…]