Need To Know: Cameron Carpenter
By Noah Michelson
A keyboard prodigy, Cameron Carpenter performed Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier at age 11 before joining the American Boychoir School in 1992 as a boy soprano.
He attended Julliard, and while he was there he composed art songs; the symphonic poem Child of Baghdad (2003) for orchestra, chorus, and Ondes Martenot; his first substantial works for solo organ; and numerous organ arrangements of piano works by Chopin, Godowsky, Grainger, Ives, Liszt, Medtner, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, and others.
After graduating in 2006, he began his worldwide organ concert tours and recorded his first commercial CDs and DVDs, generating a level of acclaim, exposure, and controversy unprecedented for an organist, much of which was due to his outrageously flamboyant rhinestone-studded costumes and his fresh take on a centuries old instrument. His first album, Revolutionary, made him the first organist ever nominated for a Grammy Award for a solo album.
Carpenter recently stopped by the Out studio to chat about the violence, passion, and ecstasy associated with the organ, the link between sexual power and being a musician, and his taste and wish for glamour:
-- JASON LAMPHIER
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