With his exceptional musicality, technical ability and pioneering spirit, organist Cameron Carpenter has already left his mark on recent music history. Ever since the completion in 2014 of his own instrument, the International Touring Organ, he has defied initial skepticism about this digital keyboard and established the ITO on the world’s most prestigious stages.
Whether for recital or concert engagements, Carpenter often performs on the ITO. This tailor-made instrument, based on Carpenter’s own plans, allows him to perform at almost any location worldwide. Thus far, he has taken it on tour to Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Asia, along with many appearances around Europe and the United States.
In September 2021, he released his first album on Decca Gold, a recording of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, paired with his own transcription of American composer Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 2. Carpenter’s “Rachmaninoff & Poulenc” (2019), a live disc with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin on Sony Classical, received the Opus Klassik Award in 2020. After the ECHO-winning release of “If You Could Read My Mind” (2014), he followed with his second Sony album “All You Need Is Bach” (2016).
Born in 1981 in Pennsylvania, Carpenter performed J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier for the first time at age 11; he became a member of the American Boychoir School in 1992. Besides his mentor Beth Etter, he was taught by John Bertalot and James Litton. At the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, he studied composition and organ with John E. Mitchener. Carpenter transcribed more than 100 works for organ, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. He composed his first own works during his studies at the Juilliard School, from 2000 to 2006, where he also had piano lessons with Miles Fusco.
In 2011, his concerto for organ and orchestra The Scandal was premiered by Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen at the Kölner Philharmonie. In 2012, he received the Leonard Bernstein Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. He also was artist-in-residence of Konzerthaus Berlin in the 2017-2018 season.