Winner of the 2011 Canadian International Organ Competition and director of the Boston Organ Studio, Christian Lane is one of America’s most accomplished, respected, and versatile concert organists and pedagogues.
“A true artist whose gratifying musical maturity is demonstrated through playing that is suave, elegant, and exciting (The American Organist)”, Mr. Lane earned first prize in four major American organ competitions before reaching his twenty-first birthday: the 2000 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition/USA, the 2001 American Guild of Organists (AGO) Region III Competition for Young Organists, the 2002 Augustana Arts/Reuter National Undergraduate Organ Competition, and the 2002 Arthur Poister National Organ Competition. In 2004, he earned both second prize and the audience prize in the AGO National Young Artist Competition (NYACOP), widely considered to be the preeminent organ-playing competition in the United States.
A 2004 graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, Mr. Lane earned his Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance with highest distinction and served as undergraduate Marshall at the school’s commencement exercises. He simultaneously completed the school’s Diploma program in Sacred Music, gaining valuable insight about and experience within a wide spectrum of Christian worship traditions. At Eastman, his primary teacher and mentor was Professor David Higgs.
Subsequently, as a Robert Baker Scholar at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and School of Music, Mr. Lane earned a Master of Music in Organ Performance in 2008. During his time at Yale, he was awarded two noteworthy prizes: the Charles Ives Prize for an outstanding organ major and the Mary Baker Prize for excellence in organ accompaniment. His primary lessons were with a foremost specialist in romantic organ performance, Professor Thomas Murray. In addition to intensive study on the famed Newberry Organ in Woolsey Hall, his studies spanned the broad spectrum of organ repertoire – including performances on the university’s new Taylor & Boody organ in meantone temperament. At Yale, he was also a teaching fellow in music history and a secondary organ instructor, teaching undergraduate students for credit-earning lessons. He regularly performed as accompanist and continuo player with the university’s premier choral ensemble, the Yale Schola Cantorum under the direction of Simon Carrington; these collaborations included a tour of southern France and a recording of the Bach and Mendelssohn Magnificats released by NAXOS.
Passionate about commissioning new music and using the organ in collaborative settings, Mr. Lane regularly performs with internationally acclaimed soprano Jolle Greenleaf. Focusing on repertoire of the Renaissance and Baroque periods coupled with works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, these collaborations have been well received in concerts across the United States. In the fall of 2007, the pair premiered a song cycle by composer Nicholas White, From Earth to Heaven, and in 2011 premiered a solo cantata, Circe, by Carson Cooman, an American composer with whom Mr. Lane keeps close collaboration. Mr. Lane has also commissioned and premiered works of Nico Muhly, one of America’s most noteworthy young composers (whose first opera entered the repertoire of the Metropolitan Opera in 2013).
As a soloist, Mr. Lane performs regularly throughout the United States and in Europe. Notable venues include St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York), both St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, and Washington National Cathedral. He was a featured performer at the 2014 National AGO Convention in Boston, the 2013 National Convention of the Royal Canadian College of Organists in Ottawa, the 2005 AGO Region VI Convention in Colorado Springs, and a “Rising Star” performer at the 2002 National AGO Convention in Philadelphia.
Christian Lane’s first solo recording was released in 2012 to critical acclaim on the Canadian label ATMA Classique. Two discs featuring the newly installed Skinner and Fisk organs at Harvard University, “Sounds of the Yard,” were released in 2014.
Committed to supporting his profession, Mr. Lane serves on the board of the Old West Organ Society and has been active within the American Guild of Organists. As National Councillor for Competitions, he led an evaluation and complete overhaul of the Guild's performance and new music competitions; he served as Vice President from 2014–2016.
Mr. Lane has been privileged to serve within some of the country’s most respected parish music programs, including two in Rochester, NY: Third Presbyterian and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where he succeeded Eastman Professor Emeritus David Craighead following 48 years of distinguished service. In New Haven, Mr. Lane was Assistant Organist at the Episcopal Church of Trinity-on-the-Green where he worked with one of the last remaining choirs of Men & Boys in the country. Notably, Mr. Lane also served for two years as assistant organist to John Scott at the Episcopal Church of Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue, New York City. At Saint Thomas, he worked with the parish’s world-renowned choir of Men & Boys amidst six choral services per week, and was also head of music for the church’s residential choir school. Most recently he served Harvard University as Associate University Organist and Choirmaster from 2008–2014, during which time he established and cultivated what was the largest program of organ study in the Ivy League. He is currently Director of Music and Organist at All Saints Episcopal Parish in Brookline, Mass., where he directs one of Boston's most respected church music programs.