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TOKYO

‘Grotesque’ organist hits town

by Eriko Arita

Staff Writer

Organist Cameron Carpenter, known for his wild performances and appearance, plays the organ like no one else — hitting the keys with frantic energy and a rockstar-like attitude.

Carpenter, born in Pennsylvania in 1981, was a child prodigy, performing Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” when he was just 11 years old. During his four years of high school studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, he studied the organ and made his first forays into orchestration and orchestral composition — transcribing more than 100 major works for the organ.

Carpenter continued composing after moving to New York in 2000 to attend The Juilliard School, and he wrote numerous solo organ works and organ arrangements of piano works by Chopin, Liszt, Schumann and others.

In 2006 Carpenter began touring internationally and recorded his first commercial CDs and DVDs, generating acclaim and controversy unprecedented for an organist. His debut album, “Revolutionary,” released in 2008, was the first solo album by an organist ever nominated for a Grammy award.

Carpenter’s unusual performance style has been described by The Guardian as “grotesque,” though some would call his music miraculous.

Carpenter will play works by Chopin, Bach and other composers at his upcoming concert in Tokyo.

The Cameron Carpenter Miracle Organ Illusion will be held at Suntory Hall on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. Located five-minute-walk from Roppongi-Icchome Station on the Nanboku subway line or 10 minute walk from Tameike-Sanno Station on the Ginza subway line. Tickets are ¥5,000, ¥4,000 or ¥3,000. For reservation and more information, look at www.kajimotomusic.com