For those you that have not heard of Cameron Carpenter you are in for an earful-literally! For the past fifteen years Carpenter has been smashing the stereotype of organist’s and organ music. A virtuoso-composer, not common among keyboardists, Carpenter has a most unique approach to the organ has earned worldwide recognition. Not only is his playing and composing non-conforming but his appearance is also out of the ordinary for most organists. Carpenter has been sporting a mohawk since the late 1990’s and has no plans to change this.
As a keyboard prodigy, he performed Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier at age eleven before joining the American Boychoir School in 1992 as a boy soprano. He then studied at his secondary education at The North Carolina School for the Arts, where his interest and training orchestration began. During this time he transcribed more than one hundred major works for the organ including Gustav Mahler’ s symphony No. 5. In 2000 Carpenter moved to New York City to attend Julliard. This move inspired a lot of his first substantial solo pieces and he began focusing more on, in his own words “expressive art organ”. Carpenter received his Master’s Degree from Julliard in 2006. The same year he began his first worldwide organ tour playing in many esteemed halls including the Davies Hall in San Francisco and The Tchaikovsky in Moscow. In 2008 Carpenter became the first organists ever nominated for a Grammy for his solo album “Revolutionary”
It also worth mention that he is one the most fan friendly organists of his time; dedicating one hour before and after his performances to greeting his fans. His talents are seemingly endless just as his ideas. There are no signs of him slowing down anytime soon. As esteemed German music reviewer Manuel Brug has written, Manuel Brug writes: “Carpenter… is proving himself to be a clever eclecticist, who understands to entertain with much finesse, and admits with a wink that he is “annoyed by intellectual music””.