An active performer, pedagogue, and church musician, Timothy Olsen teaches a joint studio of high school, undergraduate, and graduate organ students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC. Dr. Olsen also serves as Cantor (organist/music director) at Augsburg Lutheran Church in Winston-Salem, where he oversees a thriving music program, directs two adult choirs, serves as organist, and works with a music staff of Youth Music/Handbell Director, and student organ and choral interns.
Dr. Olsen maintains an active performance schedule both as a solo organist, as well as a collaborative artist. He frequently performs with trumpeter Judith Saxton (including a recent CD on Raven), as well as with organ duo partner, Nicole Keller. He has performed recitals at venues in 30 states including Slee Hall (University of Buffalo, NY), Lagerquist Hall (Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA), Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (Portland, OR), Christ Church Cathedral (Lexington, KY), Broadway Baptist Church (Fort Worth, TX), and St. Thomas Church (New York, NY) among many others. Dr. Olsen has been featured as soloist with orchestras, and performs as organist for major choral works including Maurice Duruflé’s Requiemand Messe “Cum Jubilo,”Théodore Dubois’s The Seven Last Words of Christ, and Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem.
Dr. Olsen is the first-prize winner of the 2002 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance sponsored by the American Guild of Organists. He has recently recorded two compact discs on the Raven label (featuring the performance instruments of both institutions for which he teaches), and has been featured multiple times on American Public Media’s Pipedreams, WXXI’s With Heart and Voice, and WCPE’s Great Sacred Music.
Dr. Olsen presents masterclasses, workshops, and hymn festivals for universities, churches, and chapters of the American Guild of Organists. A native of Frost, Minnesota, Dr. Olsen began his study of the organ at the age of 13. He went on to further study with Peter Nygaard at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1997. Dr. Olsen continued his study as a student of David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music Degrees in Organ Performance and Literature as well as a Master of Arts Degree in Music Theory Pedagogy. During his tenure at the Eastman School of Music, Dr. Olsen served as Professor Higgs’ teaching assistant, a teaching assistant in the theory department, and as a faculty member of the Eastman Community Education Division. He was for four years the Wanda L. Bass Chair of Organ at Oklahoma City University, and also has served on the faculty of Ithaca College, and as sabbatical replacement at Binghamton University and Cornell University.
Dr. Olsen enjoys singing sacred choral music (particularly that from the Renaissance) with his wife, Daniele, in a newly-formed sacred choral music ensemble. He lives in Pfafftown, NC, with his wife and three boys.
For more information about Timothy Olsen and UNCSA/Salem College, please visit www.timothyolsenorganist.com, www.uncsa.edu/music/organ/index.aspx, and www.salem.edu/music.