Dorothy Riess: May 20, 2016 - May 6, 2011 - April 2, 2006


"Dr. Dorothy" started piano with her mother, Dorothy Young, a piano teacher, at age four and won her first competition at seven. Her father, Roy Wallace Young, a concert violinist and composer, coached her in dynamics and interpretation. As a teenager she studied advanced piano with Dean Clarence Burg at Oklahoma City University and performed the Gershwin Piano Concerto with the OCU Symphony at 14. The summer of her 16th year she took organ lessons to become high school organist and had her own radio show of pop tunes on the Hammond at KTOW, Oklahoma City.

Entering The University of Oklahoma at 17, she became a protege of the legendary Mildred Andrews and won many competitions including first place in the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Playing in San Francisco, 1952, at age 20. After graduation in 1953, she studied in France with Marcel Dupré and was guest organist at the American Church in Paris. A chance encounter led to a position as organist and choirmaster at Church of the Holy Spirit, Nice, France, and later, at St Paul's Within the Walls, Rome, Italy where she served for two years.

Awarded a full scholarship to Yale University, she studied organ with Frank Bozyan, and composition with Pulitzer Prize winner, Mel Powell.

She performed her Masters recital, which included the difficult and seldom heard "Variations on a Recitative" by Arnold Schoenberg, in Yale's Woolsey Hall. The death of her beloved father from complications of Diabetes changed her life resulting in a decision to become a Doctor.

After pre-med studies at Columbia University, New York, she was admitted to The University of Oklahoma School of Medicine at age 33, and awarded a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1969. Four years of post-grad study qualified her to practice Internal Medicine which she continued in Pasadena California until retirement in 2000.

After relocating to Las Vegas she resumed organ playing in 2004, and joined the American Guild of Organists, Southern Nevada and Los Angeles Chapters. She performed her 75th birthday concert {2006), and her 80th {2011) at The University of Nevada Las Vegas. She was a featured guest artist for American Guild of Organists Region IX Conventions in San Francisco (July 2011), performing at First Congregational Church, Berkeley, the same venue as her winner's recital in 1952, and Bakersfield (June 2013), at Olive Drive Church. She maintains an active concert schedule to share the music she loves with her friends. Her compositions are available online at

Tonight's program is a reflection of Dr. Dorothy's continuing interest in dance. She studied tap and ballet in childhood, and modern dance as an adult with Yiechi Nimura in New York City.

She is the widow of Dr. Louis C. Riess, B/G USAF Ret., {1925-2015), has two stepsons and two grandchildren. In addition to music, she enjoys photography, languages, and travel.

Visit the Artist’s website, CLICK HERE


Program: May 20, 2016
Come! Dance with Me!
In celebration of Dr. Riess' 85th Birthday

Carmen Suite* Georges Bizet (1838-1875)

Classic Dances:
Minuet: Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) arr. Edwin H. Lemare

Sarabande* Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Hornpipe* George F. Handel (1685-1759)

Contemporary Dances:

Five O'clock Foxtrot* Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Valse Mignonne: Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933)

La Rose J'aune (line dance): Daniel E. Gawthrop (b. 1949)


PETROUCHKA* Igor Stravinsky {1882-1971)

1. Danse Russe
2. Petrouchka's Room
3. Shrovetide Fair


Las Vegas Preludes (World Premiere) Dorothy Young Riess {b. 1931)

1. Roulette
2. Vegas Blues
3. Winner's Stomp

*arranged for organ by Dr. Riess

Program: May 6, 2011
Music of Joy

Fête: Jean Langlais (1907-1991)

Kyrie, Gott heiliger Geist, BWV 671: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
”Kyrie, God Holy Spirit” from Clavierübung III

Jesus bleibet meine Freude, BWV 147: J.S. Bach ”Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” arr. E. Power Biggs

Herzlich thut mich erfreuen, Op. 122:4: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
”My heart Abounds with Pleasure”

Bourée, from Suite for Cello, No. 3: J.S. Bach
arr. for solo pedal by Dr. Riess

Jesu Meine Freude Symphonic Chorale Opus 87 No. 2: Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933) ”Jesus My Joy”

I. Introduzione (Inferno)
II. Canzone
III. Fuga con Corale

Waltz 2 from Suite for Variety Orchestra*: Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

Maple Leaf Rag*: Scott Joplin (1867-1917)

“Transports de Joie”: Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)
III Outburst of Joy from Ascension Suite

*arranged for organ by Dr. Riess

Program: April 2, 2006

Grand Jeu: Pierre Du Mage

Prelude and Fugue in E Flat (St Anne), BWV 552: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Four Sketches for Pedal Piano, Op. 58, #3: Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Six Fugues on B-A-C-H for Pedal Piano, Op. 60, No. 5: Robert Schumann

Prelude and Fugue in B Minor for Piano, Op. 35, No. 3: Felix Mendelssohn (1808-1847), transcribed by Bossert/Riess

Chorale in A Minor: Cesar Franck (1822-1890)

Rhapsody No. 3: Herbert Howells (1892-1983)

Ite Missa Est, Triptych for Organ, Cantabile: Jan Janca
USA premiere

Passacaglia quasi Toccata on B-A-C-H: Milos Sokola (1913-1976)