When a church is willing to invest $600,000 on a body organ, musicians take notice. That’s just how Erik Travis, a key-board prodigy from the age of 5, was drawn to Minnesota in 1988 as well as ended up being a vital part of services at Our Lady of Elegance Catholic Church in Edina for 19 years.
“That was a standout in its day, because the assumption at the time was that Catholic churches– generally– did not buy the best standard music,” claimed Michael Barone, host of MPR’s symphonic music program “Pipedreams.” “But Erik was a canny option. He played with fluency and also elegance. He was kind of your suitable organist.”
Travis died July 15 from difficulties of diabetes mellitus. He was 63.
Though his moms and dads weren’t artists, they were teachers that might spot potential, and they knew there was something different about their kid as he matured. He started imitating sounds like the waste disposal unit as a kid, and was often found dancing to songs as he altered record albums by himself, still putting on baby diapers.
Travis started taking piano lessons at the age of 5 as well as rapidly understood the tool. By the time he remained in secondary school, he could do a lot of Bach’s major organ works. He won his very first major piano competition at 15, gaining the right to perform with the symphony orchestra in Madison, Wis.
. Travis examined piano at the College of Wisconsin and also later on the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He won countless key-board competitors, however he independently complained that many of his peers would try to mess up each various other’s efficiency by stealing their rating or playing with their instrument. When, his wife, Theresa Carr, remembered, Travis was informed “horrific information” by his opponent’s instructor right before he executed. He won anyway.
“Many people are competitive in the music globe, yet Erik was not by doing this in all,” said lifetime good friend Kathy Klein Swirl, a New york city piano instructor that on a regular basis lost to Travis throughout his university years. “He located the excellent in everybody’s playing. He is the reason I ended up being a pianist. He was not just my motivation, yet my advisor.”
Though he was extremely trained, Travis disdained musicians that bothered with surviving a performance without a blunder.
Carr claimed she discovered that on her initial day with Travis, when they mosted likely to a body organ recital in St. Paul. Throughout a break, she hesitantly told Travis she located the performance “boring.” Instead of lecturing her, Travis concurred, crossing out the performer as a “note gamer.”
“Erik was everything about the life of the songs,” Carr claimed. “He ‘d rather hear flaws as well as enthusiasm than every note completely.”
Travis was living in New York when he came across an Edina church that will install among the globe’s premiere church organ. Carr stated he jumped at the chance to become Our Woman of Poise’s music supervisor and also routine organist.
“When you’re an organist, you can’t put your tool in a situation and also travel,” Carr claimed. “You are affixed to a structure.”
Travis hired several of the area’s most talented artists as well as singers for the church, that became regulars during the vacations. Lynn Erickson, a trumpet player with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, was stunned when Travis informed her they didn’t need to practice for their first performance.
“I would certainly never been in a scenario where someone just leans over to me as well as claims, ‘Do you have something that has to do with two minutes long we can play right now?’ It was a little frightening in the beginning. But he never ever missed. He was amazing.”
In addition to his better half, Travis is endured by a child, Jeremy, of Texas; brothers Sven of New york city and Kort of Perth, Australia; sister Bryn, of Maine, and a grandson. Solutions have been held.
Jeffrey Meitrodt – 612-673-4132