Stephen Tharp (photo: Ran Keren)

Organ

Organ matinee with Stephen Tharp

When an organist is named in Who’s Who in the world, he is one of the greats in his field. Tharp delights with a playing style that seems transparent and weightless even in the most virtuosic passages. The American dedicates his debut at the Philharmonie organ to the toccata, the genre in which organists can show off their brilliance particularly well. Beginning in the Baroque era with toccatas by Frescobaldi and Bach, Stephen Tharp undertakes a musical journey through time that takes us through the Romantic period to modern times with works by Guy Bovet and Jean Guillou.

Stephen Tharp organ

Toccatissima! Virtuoso Organ

Johann Sebastian Bach

Toccata d-Moll BWV 565

Carlos Seixas

Toccata prima in G minor

Girolamo Frescobaldi

Toccata seconda

Juan Bautista Cabanilles

Tocata II de mà esquerra

Guy Bovet

Toccata planyavska

Henri Mulet

Esquisses byzantines: No. 10 Tu es Petra

Joseph Jongen

Toccata, op. 104

Anthony Newman

Organ Symphony No. 1

Anton Heiller

Tanz-Toccata

Jean Guillou

Toccata, op. 9

Charles-Marie Widor

Organ Symphony No. 5, op. 42 No. 1: 5th Movement Toccata

Dates and Tickets

Biographies

Stephen Tharp

Stephen Tharp delights audiences with his playing, which is transparent and weightless even in the most virtuosic passages. The American musician dedicates his debut at the Philharmonie organ to the toccata, the genre that allows organists to show off their brilliance particularly well. Stephen Tharp studied organ and piano in Illinois/USA and Paris under Wolfgang Rübsam, Gillian Weir and Jean Guillou, among others. He has lived in New York since the 1990s, where he is the titular organist and resident artist of several churches in Manhattan. He sets standards on his instrument, especially in contemporary music. He has premiered numerous works, including pieces by Thierry Escaich and David Briggs' Toccata Labyrinth. The American is also active as a composer and has received commissions from Cologne Cathedral and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Stephen Tharp performs worldwide as a chamber musician, not only on the organ but also on piano and harpsichord, and gives concerts with artists such as the singer Thomas Hampson and the violinist Itzhak Perlman. In addition to his extensive concert activities, he gives master classes in the USA and Germany. He has also released numerous solo CDs on various labels. In 2009, he was awarded the German Record Critics’ Award for his recording of the complete works of Jeanne Demessieux, a pupil of Marcel Dupré who is known for the technical difficulties of her works. The American Guild of Organists presented him with the International Performer of the Year Award in 2011, and in 2015 Stephen Tharp received the Paul Creston Award, which recognises artistic excellence by a significant figure in church music and the performing arts.

Stephen Tharp (photo: Ran Keren)