As Concert Performer

Tikker’s careful preparation of these pieces was apparent, as was his emotional investment.

The Diapason, December 2011 report on Tikker’s all-Liszt concert in the 51st annual Organ Conference at the University of Michigan

Timothy Tikker Perfect on the Ladegast Organ

US Organist Impressive in Concert at the Cathedral

The penultimate organ concert in the summer series in the Cathedral afforded an extraordinary artistic experience. The guest performer was the American organist Timothy Tikker. Locales for his concert tour this year included Paris and Bonn as well as Schwerin. Tikker studied in San Francisco and in Paris with Jean Langlais, among others. Presently he is Organist at the Cathedral in Charleston in the USA.

After his concert on the Ladegast organ in the Schwerin Cathedral, he said that the cathedral that he serves is only a small church, seating about 500 persons. His interpretational favorite is Franz Liszt. The Schwerin instrument appeared to him to be quite difficult. “The Ladegast organ is certainly rather hard to play. One must practice on it longer,” said Tikker.

There was certainly no sign of this in his concert. On the contrary. Everything came across as natural and masterful. This was surely due to his technical mastery. It simply flowed thus from his fingers, musically fully-formed, interpretationally flawless, even youthfully impetuous, always to some expressive end.

To begin, Tikker played a work of his own, a composition from the year 1998. Characteristic rhythms run throughout the work, lending it its special character. After the ever-popular Liszt, the Bach jubilee was acknowledged with three chorale-preludes… To conclude: Marcel Dupré’s Évocation op. 37 in three movements. An unusual interpretation, unconventional, yet impetuously performed, always masterful. Always perceptible was the urge for expression, distinguished by marvelous registrations of the musical breadths and depths. An impressive evening, which was crowned with much applause.

– Dietmar Unger, Schweriner Volkszeitung, 19 September 2000

“The Lord Is My Shepherd,” Gently Consoling Psalm 23
CONCERT: Timothy J. Tikker at the Minster organ

by Fritz Herzog

From Charleston to the Rhine: The young American cathedral-organist Timothy J. Tikker was guest performer at the large Klais organ in the Minster Basilica. In three Schübler organ-chorales, “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme,” Wo soll ich fliehen hin” and “Kommst du nun, Jesu” as well as in the Prelude and Fugue in C major [BWV 545] Tikker proved himself, through his joyful playing, to be a well-disposed and well-disposing Bach interpreter, whose real strengths, as he demonstrated in Liszt’s Prelude and Fugue on “B-A-C-H” and confirmed in his presentation of Tournemire and Dupré, lay in the transitional period from the Romantic to the modern – with an obvious emphasis on the French repertoire.

Tournemire’s “2ème Poeme” is a setting of the consoling Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my Shepherd”), the musical translation of which is thoughtful, rather restrained, gentle and reserved, always in a subdued coloration. Tikker achieved a very sensitive realization of this particular idiom.

The main work of the program, Dupré’s large-scaled “Évocation,” reached the farthest into modern style. Here an almost epic ethos is required from the soloist; he must bring its manifold formal elements together in the performance unobtrusively so that the work does not become distended – a task which Tikker mastered in very good taste and with sovereign surety.

“Tiento de Batalla sobre el Baletto del Granduca”, with its rather charmingly surrealistic title, showed the organist at the outset as a composer in historical style, using the varied capabilities of the Bonn [Minster] instrument to advantage for vivid expression.

General-Anzeiger, Bonn, 2-3 September 2000

Cathedral Organ Concert

Liszt’s Hommage to Bach

Bonn. He came from Charleston, USA, but his program was European and rather dance-oriented: Timothy J. Tikker, composer and organist, performed the ninth concert of the Bonn Minster’s Summer Organ Series featuring works of Bach, Liszt, Tournemire and Dupré.

The only exception was the opening work, by Tikker himself, “Tiento de Batalla sobre el Baletto del Granduca,” in which archaic melodies were playfully altered, tonally and rhythmically. The typically American facility, which was felt here, also characterized Tikker’s interpretations of Bach works: The three chorale-preludes: “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme” BWV 645, “Wo soll ich fliehen hin” BWV 646 and “Kommst du nun, Jesus, vom Himmel herunter” BWV 650, he presented in a relaxed manner, in contrasting tone colors, but still transparent, airily, always completely in preludial character. Only the Prelude and Fugue in C major BWV 545 presented itself in a powerful, thunderously emphatic tone.

An emphatic tone with grand gesture, turned towards a romantic expression, also distinguished Liszt’s Prelude and Fugue on the Name of B-A-C-H: Tikker’s registrations were even more differentiated here, he effortlessly mastered all technical difficulties and also showed himself at his best in phrasing and agogics with the stormy and exciting [gestures] in this completely and entirely non-baroque work, despite its designation. For a change in mood afterwards we heard Charles Tournemires “2ème Poème”, a subtle, sensitive, meditatively floating tone-poem, preceding Marcel Dupré’s three-movement Evocation, as it were the synthesis of the two opposites which had just been presented: In the dramatic finale extremely energetic staccato chords and tonal contours are juxtaposed. A rousing, virtuosic interpretation, musically enlightened with a fine ear, which was rewarded with mighty applause.

– Niels Ruehle, Bonner Rundschau, 2 September 2000

CSO, soloists nearly perfect in organ series

Friday’s Piccolo Spoleto l’Organo series provided spectacular music as the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Samuel Adler, was joined by solo organists Wayne Foster, Timothy J. Tikker and Larry K. Long in a concert that featured two of the best-known pieces for organ and orchestra by Saint-Saëns and Copland, as a new work by Adler himself…

Aaron Copland’s Symphony for Organ and Orchestra (1924), written when the composer was in his 20s, is brash in its instrumentation and was considered daring when first performed. The Andante features a long, languid melody for the strings that evolves into a touching duet for violin and organ, while the Scherzo is lithe with dance-like rhythms and a complex interplay between the organ and the oboe. The Finale, marked Lento, is melancholy with a solo for the organ and lots of fanfares for the brass. Tikker played with complete concentration and extraordinary emotional involvement…

– Jeff Johnson, The Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday, June 10, 2000

Timothy Tikker in St. Elisabeth

Of special interest was the program of the second evening organ concert in the course of the Organ Festival at St. Elisabeth Church, performed by Timothy James Tikker from the USA, consisting exclusively of 20th century works…

[Charles Tournemire’s] Symphonie-Choral d’orgue op. 69, as a sort of featured work, he placed at the end of the evening’s program. Tikker proved to be its technically masterful and colorfully expressive interpreter, as he had been already at the program’s beginning with Max Reger’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor from 1901. The nobly archaic Fugue, for example, showed a well-differentiated and convincing development from its subtle development up to its climactic conclusion.

Of particular interest were the three contemporary American pieces, which Tikker performed with great intensity…

Finally, a further focal point of Tikker the interpreter should not be omitted: Olivier Messiaen. From his work he selected the “Chant d’oiseaux,” presented in a picturesque, exquisitely multi-faceted interpretation. Much applause for a noteworthy evening.

– Barbara Kaempfert-Weitbrecht, Bonn General-Anzeiger, 25/26 April 1998

Timothy J. Tikker was first on the bench, offering a six-and-a-half minute [improvised] fantasy on one of the specifically composed themes… which he dealt with with humor and astonishing agility… always one sensed an architectural scheme behind the tumult of sound with which he flooded Trinity [Church, Wall Street, New York City]. His response to the scherzando quality of the selected theme, from which he occasionally drew short separate motifs as grist for the mill, was especially praiseworthy. There was a nice variety to the individual variations in his second improvisation, and he worked up a satisfying head of steam with a toccata-like finale…

– Clair Van Ausdall, The American Organist, October 1996

Timothy Tikker’s program was in many ways an homage to two of the greatest improvisers of this century [Marcel Dupré and Charles Tournemire]. His account of Tournemire’s Victimæ Paschali was marked by security of thought and technique that was so admired by organists of the time. His own improvisations display a thorough understanding of French symphonic techniques, distinguished by a gift for melodic development, a strong sense of color and proportion, and a clarity of musical intent that make his work both attractive and understandable.

– Joseph Adam, The American Organist, October 1995

[In his improvisations] Tikker showed an especially well-developed sense of fugal style in one of his hymn variations, and his free work also used the organ in a highly colorful, scherzo-like style.

– John Pagett, The Diapason, December 1985