Cherry Rhodes

Adjunct Professor

Division: Classical Performance and Composition
Program: Organ Studies

Instrument: Organ
Phone: (213) 740-7703
Office: RHM 112


Cherry Rhodes is the first American to win an international organ competition (Munich, Germany). She has played recitals at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, at international organ festivals throughout Europe and at numerous National and Regional Conventions of the American Guild of Organists. In July 2004 she was one of the first organists to perform on the new organ in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This occasion took place at the AGO National Convention when she appeared as soloist with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Subsequently she performed there for the Grand Avenue Festival, and continuing with the organ inauguration, on April 22-24, 2005, she performed the monumental Symphonie Concertante by Joseph Jongen on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Subscription Series. Other concert hall appearances include recitals at Lincoln Center, New York City; Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.; Orchestra Hall, Chicago; Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas; Milwaukee Performing Arts Center; and London’s Royal Festival Hall.

As a soloist, Ms. Rhodes made her debut at age seventeen with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Further appearances as a soloist have been with the Pasadena Chamber Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the South German Radio Orchestra and the French National Radio Orchestra. Ms. Rhodes has recorded for Columbia Records, Delos International, Pro Organo, JAV Recordings, Organ Historical Society and Minnesota Public Radio (CD Pipedreams Live!). Her performances have frequently been broadcast throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.
Many of Ms. Rhodes’ students have won awards, grants, and top prizes in competitions both in the United States and Europe. A sought-after musician, she has given master classes and has served as an adjudicator on frequent occasions in the United States, Canada and abroad. The Royal College of Organists invited her to give a recital and master class in Manchester Cathedral, and to serve on an international jury that selected the International Performer of the Year. On that occasion she was the only American to serve in these capacities. A graduate of Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied under Dr. Alexander McCurdy, Cherry Rhodes received Fulbright and Rockefeller grants for study in Munich and Paris with Karl Richter, Marie-Claire Alain and Jean Guillou. For two years, she was Jean Guillou’s assistant at St. Eustache in Paris.

Professional experience

Current Professional Affiliation(s):

Member of the Board of Directors, Ruth and Clarence Mader Memorial Scholarship Fund
Alumni Council Member of the Curtis Institute of Music

Career Highlights:

  • Debut at age 17, soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Solo recital, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
  • Three solo recitals, Royal Festival Hall, London
  • One of the first organists to perform on the new organ in Walt Disney Concert Hall, with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, July 2004 (American Guild of Organists National Convention)
  • Soloist, Symphonie Concertante by Joseph Jongen, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on the inaugural season of the new organ, Walt Disney Concert Hall, April 2005

Honors, Awards & Competitions:

  • Invited to premier Concierto de Los Angeles by James Hopkins, commissioned by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists to be performed at the AGO National Convention with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall, July 2004
  • Invited to perform in five AGO National Conventions (1970, 1992, 1996, 2002, 2004)
  • Invited to premier Joan Tower’s first organ work, Ascent, commissioned by the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists to be performed four times at the AGO National Convention, 1996
  • First American to win an international organ competition, XV. Internationaler Musikwettbewerb der Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Munich, Germany 1966

Music Festivals:

  • Recitalist: International Organ Festival, Bridel, Luxembourg, 2005
  • Participant: Virgil Fox Legacy concert, New York City, 2005
  • Faculty Member, Recitalist: Mount Royal College International Summer Academy, 2005
  • Faculty Member, Recitalist: Pipe Organ Encounters (American Guild of Organists), Nashville, Tennessee, 2005
  • Adjudicator, Recitalist, Teacher: Performer of the Year 2000 International Organ Competition, Manchester,
    England, 2000


  • Cherry Rhodes in Concert, unedited live performance at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles, Delos International, 2006
  • Historical Organs of Boston, Organ Historical Society, 2003
  • Comes Summer Time, JAV Recordings, 1998
  • Everyone Dance, music of Calvin Hampton, Pro Organo, 1989


Performed world premieres, North American premieres, and European premieres of works by the following composers: Rayner Brown, Jean Guillou, Calvin Hampton, James Hopkins, Larry King, Clarence Mader, Daniel Pinkham, Frank Ticheli, Joan Tower, George Walker,  William Grant Still and Fr. Marius Joseph Walter


  • Editor: Meditation on Salve Feste Dies for solo organ by Fr. Marius Joseph Walter, Composer’s Library, 2001
  • Editor: Ascent by Joan Tower, Associated Music Publishers, Inc., 1999
  • Co-Editor: Variations on Old Hundredth by Calvin Hampton, Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc., 1996

Academic degrees

  • BM, The Curtis Institute of Music, 1964

Other academic experience:

Five year study in Europe:

  • Performer’s Certificate, Hochschule für Musik, Munich, Germany, 1964-1967
  • Private Study in Paris, France with Jean Guillou 1967-1969, Marie-Claire Alain 1968-1969

Studied with:

Dr. Alexander McCurdy, organ; Dr. Vladimir Sokoloff, piano; European organ studies with Karl Richter, Jean Guillou, Marie-Claire Alain