Cameron Carpenter at the organ of the Philharmonie

Strikingly glamouros

Eccentricity is his trademark. His outrageous outfits make Cameron Carpenter look more like a pop star, DJ, designer or movie star rather than what he actually is: one of the best organists of our time. He boasts a stupendous technique, with hands and feet gliding with impressive speed over manuals and pedals and – despite his virtuosity – he knows how to cast a spell over his audience with his obvious enjoyment in playing and making music. Anyone who has ever heard Cameron Carpenter play acknowledges that the organ is not only a sacred but also a secular instrument.

An American in Berlin

Originally from Pennsylvania, he studied organ and composition at the prestigious Juilliard School. He then launched an international career. Since 2010, Cameron Carpenter has lived in Berlin, a city that fascinates him very much. “The Berliners are very patient with me and my eccentricities,” as he says 2012 in an interview with the magazine 128 – The Magazine of the Berliner Philharmoniker. He not only knows the classical organ repertoire, he also transcribes piano and orchestral works for his instrument and writes his own compositions. His concerto for orchestra and organ Der Skandal was premiered in Cologne in January 2011.

Once again at the Karl Schuke organ of the Philharmonie

Carpenter sat for the first time at the Karl Schuke Organ of the Philharmonie, newly restored and with several extra registers, shortly after his move to Berlin in November 2010. He also delighted audiences of all ages with his playing at the open day in May 2012, which was reason enough to allow him to open the organ concert series in September 2012. And this season too, he will be the first organist to take to the console. This time he will surprise his audience with original works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Marcel Dupré and some of his own transcriptions, which include Alexander Scriabin's Fourth Piano Sonata and Maurice Ravel's La Valse.

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Cameron Carpenter (Foto: Michael Hart)
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Open day 2012: Cameron Carpenter and Sarah Willis explain the Karl Schuke organ

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