Ithaca College Concerts

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Cameron Carpenter, OrganCameron Carpenter, Organ
Friday, March 26, 2010

8:15 p.m., Ford Hall

“... Carpenter defies tradition with his interpretations and personality. He has pushed the boundaries of organ technique to breathtaking heights, meshing virtuosity with musical intelligence. In his dazzling transcription of Chopin’s “Revolutionary” Étude he transfers the left-hand runs in the piano to the pedals, and his feet (clad in specially made shoes) tap-dance over them with astounding speed.”  --  The New York Times

Paul Jacobs, the chairman of the organ department at the Juilliard School described Carpenter, his former student, as “a significant talent” and praised his “fertile imagination,” his “extraordinary technical facility” and his “ability to draw from standard music the most unusual results.”

In Ithaca, as with most of his concerts, Carpenter will tailor his program to the specific musical personality of the particular organ; as such, the program will not be announced in advance.  Video projection screens will give the audience a better view of Carpenter’s hands and feet in action.

A Fascination with Experimentation

Starting with his transcription for organ alone of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 -- a one-year project finished on his 16th birthday -- pushing the limits of what is physically able to be performed on the organ has been an ongoing fascination for Carpenter. This continues today in his recent arrangements of virtuoso piano music (such as selected Fairy Tales by Medtner and Ètudes-Tableaux by Rachmaninoff [2004/05]; Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 1 [2007]; Horowitz's Variations on a theme from Bizet's 'Carmen' and Godowsky's Studies on Chopin's Ètudes [2008]), as well as "experiments" (from Art Tatum's improvisations, and solo readings of two-piano settings of Gershwin's piano rolls, to Patsy Cline's Back in Baby's Arms and Laura Nyro's Time and Love) in an ongoing celebration of what it can mean to play the organ.

Cameron Carpenter's website

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