Organist Cameron Carpenter to Play Orpheum Theater's Wurlitzer in a Genre-Smashing Concert, 11/7
Omaha Performing Arts presents organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter at the Orpheum Theater on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. The performance is part of Omaha Performing Arts' 13/14 Season. Tickets start at $25 and are available at TicketOmaha.com, 402.345.0606 or at the Ticket Omaha Office inside the Holland Center, 1200 Douglas St.
A virtuoso composer-performer unique among keyboardists, Carpenter's approach to the organ is smashing the stereotypes of organists and organ music while generating a level of acclaim, exposure, and controversy unprecedented for an organist. A reviewer for The Los Angeles Times described him as "one of the rare musicians who changes the game of his instrument... He is a smasher of cultural and classical music taboos. He is technically the most accomplished organist I have ever witnessed... And most important of all, the most musical."
His repertoire - from the complete works of J. S. Bach and Cesar Franck, to his hundreds of transcriptions of non-organ works, his original compositions, and his collaborations with jazz and pop artists - is perhaps the largest and most diverse of any organist. He is the first organist ever nominated for a Grammy Award for a solo album.
As a keyboard prodigy, Carpenter performed Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier" at age 11 before joining the American Boychoir School in 1992 as a boy soprano. During his four years of high school studies at The North Carolina School of the Arts, he studied orchestration and orchestral composition, and transcribed for the organ more than 100 major works, including Gustav Mahler's complete "Symphony No. 5." In 2000 he began studying at The Juilliard School where he composed art songs; the symphonic poem "Child of Baghdad" for orchestra, chorus and Ondes Martenot; his first substantial works for solo organ; and organ arrangements of piano works by numerous composers. Carpenter received a Master's Degree from The Juilliard School in New York in 2006.
The same year, he began his worldwide organ concert tours, giving numerous debuts at venues including Royal Albert Hall, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Davies Hall in San Francisco and many others. His Grammy-nominated Revolutionary (2008) was followed in 2010 by the critically acclaimed full length DVD and CD Cameron Live! Edition Peters became his publisher in 2010, beginning the ongoing release of his original works with Aria, Op. 1 (2010). His first major work for organ and orchestra, "The Scandal, Op. 3," was commissioned by the Cologne Philharmonie and premiered in 2011 by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie.
Carpenter meets his audience in person before his performances - often spending over an hour before each concert shaking hands and signing autographs on the floor of a concert venue. For his performance at the Orpheum, Carpenter will play the theater's Wurlitzer Style 240 pipe organ, which was installed when the theater was built in 1927. The Orpheum's Wurlitzer is one of 15 still existing and playable. Extensive restoration work in August has made it concert-ready.
Watch Carpenter play Revolutionary Etude and see why The New York Times calls him "The Maverick Organist... he is a player with extraordinarily glib fingers and Astaire-like footwork." Carpenter will perform Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater. Single tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online at TicketOmaha.com, by phone at 402.345.0606, or at the Ticket Omaha Office in the Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.