Janette Fishell | Organist
Janette Fishell holds degrees with honors in organ performance from Indiana University and Northwestern University; her teachers include Wilma Jensen, Wolfgang Rübsam, Richard Enright, Anita Werling, Robert Byrd and Clyde Holloway, augmented by sabbatical study in Germany where she received further coaching on Baroque and German Romantic repertoire and performance practice from Ludger Lohmann.
Named Young Organist of the Year by Keyboard Arts, Inc. while still an undergraduate, Dr. Fishell is a recitalist and teacher of international standing. She has performed in many of the world’s greatest concert venues including Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; Suntory Hall, Tokyo; King’s College, Cambridge; Berlin’s Schauspielhaus; the Liszt Academy, Budapest; the Prague Spring Festival; and has been a featured recitalist and lecturer at eight national conventions and nine regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. Her solo recitals for the 2006 national convention of the AGO in Chicago were critically acclaimed as “flawless” and a convention highlight. Her two solo recitals on the C. B. Fisk Opus 55 organ of historic Old West Church, Boston at the 2014 National Convention of the AGO were hailed as convention highlights, “a precious jewel … the perfect match between performer, organ and music. Fishell has emerged as one of the best Bach performers on the planet.” The author of numerous articles and a book on service playing published by Abingdon Press, she is widely recognized as a leading authority on the organ music of Czech composer Petr Eben.
Her numerous compact disc recordings include performances of the music of Marcel Dupré, Petr Eben and J. S. Bach as well as duet literature performed with British organist Colin Andrews. Pas de Dieu: Music Sublime and Spirited, a recording of French Romantic repertoire and the world premiere of Frank Ferko’s Livre d’Orgue, was released by Loft Recordings in July, 2006, the premiere recording on the C. B. Fisk Opus 126. She has been featured in live radio broadcasts worldwide, including recital broadcasts for the BBC from St. Marylebone Church, London, NHK, Tokyo, and Czech Radio. A frequent adjudicator, she has been tutor and artist five times at the Oundle International School for Young Organists and has been a judge for of the National Competition for Young Artists sponsored by the American Guild of Organists, Canadian Organ Competition, Montreal, and the inaugural Longwood Gardens organ competition. She served as Chair of the NYACOP committee from 2004 to 2006 and was a member of the Committee on Ongoing Professional Education.
Dr. Fishell is Professor of Organ and Chair of the Organ Department at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, where she teaches applied organ and Organ Pedagogy. Her previous academic and church appointments include the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at East Carolina University, Director of Music/Principal Organist at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, NC, Artist-in-Residence at Christ Church (Episcopal) Cathedral, Indianapolis, and Organist/Choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of All Saints, Indianapolis. She is the recipient the Jacobs School of Music’s 2102 Oswald Gleason Ragatz Distinguished Alumni Award and St. Malachy’s (New York, NY) 2014 Paul Creston Award, given in recognition of her commitment to the nurture of excellence in sacred music, both as a practitioner and educator.
Her students have distinguished themselves in academia, concerts and as prizewinners in competitions, both national and international, including the 2014 National Young Artist Competition (first place and audience prize), 2013 and 2017 AGO Regional Competition for Young Organists, 2012 Arthur Poister Competition, 2012 Albert Schweitzer Competition, the Joseph Fuchs Prize at Austria’s 2012 Franz Schmidt Competition, 2016 Fox Valley AGO Competition, and the 2017 Asian Organ Competition in Taipei, Taiwan. Her former students successfully serve in churches and on university faculties throughout the US, Europe and Asia, and include Fulbright award recipients.
Dr. Fishell’s commitment to the creation and sustenance of excellence and creativity in organ performance and sacred music has led to a variety of projects: she founded the East Carolina Religious Arts Festival, and was pivotal in the design and fundraising for the C. B. Fisk Opus 126 pipe organ that functions both as the organ for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, NC and the major teaching and performance instrument for East Carolina University School of Music. She has received numerous commissions for organ and choral compositions and hymn tunes, some of which are featured on the compact disc Love Bade Me Welcome: Music from St. Paul’s, and is a regular contributor to professional journals, a participant on panels and an active lecturer and adjudicator. Most recently she has worked with her colleagues in the Organ and Choral Conducting departments at the Jacobs School of Music to create two summer programs for church musicians and organists at the pre-college and collegiate levels.
In 2015 Fishell completed her twenty-one concert project, “The Seasons of Sebastian,” in which she performed the complete organ works of J. S. Bach for the first time at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. In the 2016-17 academic year she performed the twelve major organ works of César Franck at the Jacobs School of Music and has now embarked on a three year project, “Velvet Revolution,” that explores the life and work of Petr Eben, in honor of the tenth anniversary of his death and the ninetieth anniversary of his birth.
Most recent and upcoming engagements outside of Bloomington include venues across the North America and multiple concert tours of Europe, including appearances at the 2018 Biennial Convention and the 2017 Region V Convention of the AGO; St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle; a Max Reger Tribute at Duke University Chapel, Durham, NC, sponsored by the Max Reger Foundation of America; Southern Methodist University, Dallas; Northwestern University, Evanston; Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris; the Stadtkirche, Stuttgart, Germany; Obermarchtal Minster, Germany; St. George’s Hanover Square, London; St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, England.
In the USA and Canada she performs under the management of Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc.