Dr. Richard K. Fitzgerald is currently the Director of Music and Organist of Saint Joseph Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio, a position he has held since 2015. Prior to this appointment, he served the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC as the Assistant Director of Music (2003-2007) and the Associate Director of Music (2013-2014) where his playing could be heard during internationally televised broadcasts.
Dr. Fitzgerald's work as an improviser is recognized both in the U.S. and abroad, having been the only American invited to participate in the 53rd Haarlem International Organ Improvisation Competition in the Netherlands in summer 2021. In October 2013, he won first prize in the 2nd Annual Competition in Organ Improvisation sponsored by the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In addition, Dr. Fitzgerald was a finalist in the 2021 National Competition in Organ Improvisation sponsored by the American Guild of Organists. Unfortunately, he withdrew from the NCOI due to concerns relating to the pandemic.
In addition to performing improvisations, Dr. Fitzgerald has taught organ improvisation at the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, MD) and has presented workshops on the subject to professional organizations including the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians, as well as several chapters of the American Guild of Organists. For his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Fitzgerald formulated a method for organ improvisation pedagogy that he continues to present as a basis for his teaching.
Dr. Fitzgerald received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he was awarded a full scholarship as a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Music Theory. He earned the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the Peabody Conservatory and the Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey.
Dr. Fitzgerald is a house composer at Wayne Leupold Editions where his three symphonies for solo organ are currently undergoing the editing process and will be released soon. He has received commissions and his work has earned him favorable reviews in The Hymn, Choir and Organ, Pastoral Music, and The American Organist. His Mass in Honor of Saint Bernadette, a setting for organ and congregation of the ICEL ©2011 translation of the Mass, is available on the Corpus Christi Watershed website (www.ccwatershed.org/Mass/). His Mass in Honor of Saint Cecilia, also a setting of the Mass for congregation, choir, and organ, was recently released from International Liturgy Publications (ILP). Dr. Fitzgerald also has choral pieces available through GIA Publications, Inc.
Dr. Fitzgerald has made appearances on the nationally syndicated radio program Pipedreams, including a performance of Leo Sowerby's Toccata (program 1446, 'With Praise and Thanksgiving').