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Christiansen, Clay

Clay Christiansen

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Clay Christiansen , born in 1949, is Tabernacle Organist Emeritus at the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City where he performed full time on the famous 5-manual, 206-rank ├ćolian-Skinner organ from 1982 to 2018. Ten years prior to his start at the Tabernacle, he was Organist/Choirmaster at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, and five of those years also at Congregation Kol Ami, both in Salt Lake City. In addition to performing thousands of daily noon recitals, he accompanied the Tabernacle Choir on the world's longest-running network broadcast "Music and the Spoken Word" which is performed live each Sunday morning. Touring with the Choir, he has performed across North America, Europe and Israel and appears on most of their prolific discography.

Also in demand as a solo artist, Dr. Christiansen has performed in churches and concert halls across the United States, Canada, and England. Clay's solo organ CD Organ of the Mormon Tabernacle is on the Klavier label. Solo performances may also be heard on Now Let Us Rejoice: Organ Hymns for the Sabbath on the Tabernacle Choir label, St. Ambrose Catholic Church Premiere Recital, The King of Instruments documentary DVD, and solo/duo performances on The Organ at the Mission Inn (Riverside, California).

Composer of organ, choral and orchestral works, he holds a Ph.D in music composition from the University of Utah where he studied with Vladimir Ussachevsky, Ramiro Cortes and Bruce Reich. Degrees in organ performance are from the University of Utah and Brigham Young University where he studied with Alexander Schreiner and J. J. Keeler. Post graduate studies were with Robert Noehren, long-time University of Michigan Organist.

A 27-year member of the Musical Instruments Selection Committee, his ear for colorful organ registration has profoundly influenced the design of organs found in meetinghouses of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide.

The Utah-based Scera Foundation for the Arts honored Clay as the 2019 recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award.

Clay and his wife Diane are the happy parents and grandparents of 13 children and 60 grandchildren.


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