Emma Whitten is an accomplished organist specializing in early Baroque and contemporary repertoire. She performs across the United States and internationally, captivating audiences and introducing the organ to new listeners. Her programs are engaging and diverse, drawing from an extensive repertoire spanning eight centuries of organ music.
Dr. Whitten serves as Associate Organist at Christ Cathedral (formerly Crystal Cathedral) in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County, California. The Cathedral campus is home to two landmark instruments, the five-manual Hazel Wright Organ in the Cathedral and the four-manual Fred Swann Organ in the Arboretum. As Associate Organist, Emma plays for major liturgies at the Cathedral and accompanies the Diocesan Choir. In September 2022, she released her debut recording, Hazel Is Back! (Gothic Records 49338), in celebration of the Hazel Wright Organ’s recent restoration. Emma also acts as Music Coordinator at the historic Church of the Immaculate Conception in San Diego. In Fall 2022, Dr. Whitten joined the faculty of Concordia University Irvine as Adjunct Professor of Organ and Church Music and Interim University Organist.
Notable performance venues and festivals include the Dedication Year of the Hazel Wright Organ, the Los Angeles Presidents’ Day Organ Festival, St. Paul’s Cathedral (San Diego, CA), Catalina Organ Festival (Tucson, AZ), and Saints Simon & Jude Cathedral (Phoenix, AZ). Internationally, Emma has performed on historic organs in Germany, Spain, Colombia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. She particularly promotes the work of women composers, including performances of major works by Pamela Decker at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, as well as leading workshops on women composers for chapters of the American Guild of Organists.
Emma maintains a private teaching studio in Oceanside, California where she works with organists of all ages, from beginning students to professionals. She regularly acts as an adjudicator for scholarship auditions and competitions, including the AGO/Quimby Regional Competitions for Young Organists and the AGO certification programs. Emma is passionate about introducing the organ to new audiences, and she has served as both faculty and featured performer for Pipe Organ Encounters, week-long educational workshops for high school organists.
Emma holds degrees in organ performance from the University of Notre Dame (2009), University of Kansas (2011), and Arizona State University (2014), where she received her D.M.A. studying with Kimberly Marshall. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled “Synthesizing Styles: International Influence on Organ Music in Restoration England,” explores French and Italian musical elements in the organ works of Matthew Locke, John Blow, and Henry Purcell.
For upcoming performances, please visit her website at www.emmawhitten.com. Emma Whitten is represented by Seven Eight Artists.