"ORGANIST BRADLEY WELCH DRAWS RADIANCE AND LUSTER FROM INSTRUMENT: Negotiated [the] instrument with astonishing ease and spoke about the music with engaging insight. An expert at defining darks, lights, shadows and colors, Welch set an ominous tone to begin Bach's Prelude and Fugue in A minor, but it didn't take long to blossom into full radiance....transformed this [Guilmant] music from bombast to great music." (Michael Huebner, Birmingham News, AL)
"Visceral Excitement...consistently the most compelling player (in the competition)...he played with unmatched assurance and élan." (Dallas Morning News)
"Clearly created the most excitement (in the competition)...there was a welcome naturalness in his playing, an effortless grace." (Dallas Morning News)
"To invoke an old Southern expression, Bradley Hunter Welch plays the organ like nobody's business. Between the virtuosity of the playing and the easy going spoken commentary, he also proved that 'entertainer' and 'organist' needn't be mutually exclusive. It would be hard to play Widor any better than this....splendidly idiomatic and communicative." (Dallas Morning News)
"A spectacular solo program...sensitive, well-balanced performances of the two required concerti both beautifully registered and delivered with requisite
virtuosity as well as deep musical insight....a powerhouse organist with considerable communicative skills...the subtlest and most consistent player among the contestants." (The Diapason)
"Welch's playing [with the Grand Rapids Symphony] was precise and expressive, never overbearing. All of the myriad colors and timbres at his disposal were beautifully deployed." (The Grand Rapids Press, MI)
"A grand and glorious concert it was and one those who attended will never forget. Filled with excitement and eagerness, but played with masterful control."
(The Console Crier, newsletter of the Chicago Chapter AGO)
"We are totally sold on Bradley's professional and musical abilities! There was unanimous consensus that it was the best recital we've ever had." (Anita Coulthard, Arts Coordinator, Emory & Henry College VA, presenter)
"I simply cannot say enough about this remarkably talented and genuinely charming young man! Absolutely everything about his visit here was the best it could possibly be."(Lois Jaeger, Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato MN, presenter)
"He is already a well-seasoned musician and a joy to present. The performance was splendid. His strong artistic musicianship is well supported with solid assured technique. His registrations were carefully and stylistically chosen and communicated his thorough knowledge of the music and our instrument. His verbally articulated program notes were clear and concise and also very well done." (Yvonne Kuhlman, Luther College, Decorah IA, presenter)
"Our audience loved Bradley! His musicianship is superb, and his performance was the finest I have heard in my 13 years here." (Rebecca Sawyer, First Presbyterian Church, Midland TX, presenter)
Hailed as “A world-class virtuoso” and “an expert at defining darks, lights, shadows and colors,” Bradley Hunter Welch is increasingly in demand as a recitalist, concerto soloist, and collaborative artist. A native of Knoxville, TN, Bradley holds the Doctor of Musical Arts, Master of Musical Arts, Master of Music degrees, and the Artist Diploma from Yale University where he studied with Thomas Murray and Martin Jean. He also holds the Bachelor of Music degree magna cum laude from Baylor University where he studied with Joyce Jones. Dr. Welch has also continued his study of organ and piano technique with Sheila Paige.
Dr. Welch is the 2003 First Place winner of the Dallas International Organ Competition and was also awarded the Audience Prize for the second time, having previously won it in 2000. In 2005, he was a featured artist at three regional conventions of The American Guild of Organists, and he made his European debut in France performing in the Chartres Festival. He has appeared as soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. With the DSO, he gave the world premier of Stephen Paulus’ Grand Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, the piece written for Bradley as the winner of the Dallas International Organ Competition. Additionally, he has taught at Southern Methodist University and Baylor University. He is Director of Music & Arts/Organist at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, TX. In addition to these duties, he performs approximately 20 concerts annually under the exclusive artistic management of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, Hartford, CT.
His premier recording is the first solo organ recording of the Cliburn Organ at Broadway Baptist Church, and his recording on the magnificent Fisk organ at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas is currently in production. Bradley is married to Kara Kirkendoll Welch, a flutist in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Flute at Southern Methodist University. They have a son—Ethan Hunter Welch.
"The church was filled to capacity, and at the second performance the response was even more overwhelming than the first. His programming is outstanding, and his verbal program notes are excellent. He has an unusually fine way of establishing a relationship with the audience very quickly." (Jeff Daubenmire, First Presbyterian Church, Logan OH, presenter)