When we see a punk with bulging triceps playing the organ in a sleeveless vest and spangled leggings, and producing a veritable orgy of sound the like of which we have never heard before, then in all likelihood we’ll find Cameron Carpenter sitting at the instrument. Possessing a breathtaking technique and not averse to showmanship, this artist has rightly been dubbed the Paganini of the Organ. The “devil’s violinist” had a similarly ambivalent personality that swept audiences off their feet: on the one hand with his unusual appearance, and on the other hand his astonishing musicality and all but supernatural virtuosity. The same can be said of this 32-year-old American organist, a graduate of the Juilliard School. The title of world’s most controversial organist has been well earned given the way in which Carpenter divides public opinion; regardless of this, however, his art marries virtuosity to a high degree of musical intelligence. Besides his outward appearance, his interpretations are also unconventional, as he casts familiar works in a new light. An example of this is in his approach to the compositions of Bach, where – at the risk of being stigmatised as a “provocateur” – he breaks with tradition to present his own individual readings of the score. For Carpenter, artistic freedom often means artistic licence, where the registrations specified by the composer can be overridden. Whether appealing or not, this taboo-breaking artist cannot possibly be ignored. A special place in his work is assigned to transcriptions of compositions that no one would expect to “work” in such a way. Paraphrasing Ravel’s La Valse is no easy task, even for an orchestra, but Carpenter manages to perform it alone, while The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams is one of the most popular works in the English classical repertoire. Both will be heard at what promises to be a very special concert.