Watch: Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso series to feature Ukrainian organist on Feb. 3

Viktor Billa, Ukrainian organist and soloist, will perform at the first of the four Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso concerts this year; plus stream 2 concerts from 2022

The first performance of the 2023 Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso Performance Series will feature Viktor Billa, Ukrainian organist and soloist, on Friday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.

His performance at the Tabernacle is slated to include selected works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Marco Enrico Bossi, Viktor Honcharenko, Klement Slavický, Marcel Dupré and Louis Vierne, according to the announcement from The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

How to watch

The concerts are free and open to everyone 8 years and older. No tickets are required. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and patrons should plan to be in their seats by 7:15 p.m. Entry to the Tabernacle is accessed through the gates on West Temple Street. Due to construction on Temple Square, please review current access on the map

This concert will also be livestreamed on the choir’s YouTube channel at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. After the performance ends, the video will be available on-demand as well.

The Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso Performance Series

The Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso Performance Series started in 2022 and was created to showcase the Tabernacle organ and world-renowned organists.

The series began last year with concerts by James Higdon, an organist from the University of Kansas; Gabriele Terrone, the Cathedral of the Madeline’s organist and assistant director of music; and Andrew Unsworth, who has been a Tabernacle organist since 2007. 

Later this year, the series will feature James O’Donnell, professor of the Practice of Music at Yale University, on May 12; Daniel Kerr, Music Department chairman and professor of organ at BYU–Idaho, on Aug. 18; and Tabernacle organist Brian Mathias on Nov. 3. Each will be in the Salt Lake Tabernacle at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, according to the schedule on the Tabernacle Choir’s website.

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About the Tabernacle organ 

The Tabernacle pipe organ has five manuals or keyboards, and 206 ranks of organ pipes and is among the world’s largest instruments. Its golden pipes are made from wood staves fashioned from Utah timber and still add to the sound of the famous instrument today. 

About Viktor Billa

The first performance of the 2023 Tabernacle Organ Virtuoso Performance Series will feature Viktor Billa, Ukrainian organist and soloist, on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. | DreHow Photography

For Billa, “music is prayer without words,” the Tabernacle Choir shared in the announcement.  

Billa graduated in 2011 from the Pyotr Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine in Kyiv with a master’s degree in organ performance. He was appointed as an organist in residence of the Chernivtsi Philharmonic Hall and traveled through Ukraine with concert performances, appearing as a soloist and collaborating with different instrumentalist choirs or orchestras.

In 2015, Billa was appointed as an organist at Trinity United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, Florida, where he currently serves. In 2017 he released his CD “Bach at Trinity,” recorded at the Casavant Frères organ. He is currently studying for his doctoral degree in organ performance at Florida State University with Iain Quinn. 

Watch past performances 

The concerts with Terrone and Unsworth are available for on-demand viewing on the choir’s YouTube channel

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