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The Vail Valley Foundation recently issued the following press release on composer/performer Cameron Carpenter playing the Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC) in Beaver Creek at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4:
Beaver Creek, Colo., Jan. 25, 2024 – Virtuoso composer/performer Cameron Carpenter is smashing the stereotypes of organ and classical music. Widely considered the world’s most visible organist, Carpenter is the first ever organist to be nominated for a Grammy Award for a solo album. Hailed as “extravagantly talented” by The New York Times, he will perform at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC) in Beaver Creek at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 4.
“Cameron Carpenter is classical music made cool, and he’s revolutionizing what you might expect when you think of the organ as an instrument. This evening will be an exploration of possibility, pushing the limits of classical music and transporting the audience to a new frontier of sound” says VPAC Executive Director, Cameron Morgan.
Carpenter holds the 2012 Leonard Bernstein Award, and in 2014, launched his International Touring Organ (ITO) – a first-of-its kind digital organ built to his own design. He is a virtuoso composer/performer who is smashing the stereotypes of organ and classical music.
Cameron’s latest album, recorded at the Berlin Konzerthaus, includes his own rendition of Bach’s Goldberg Variations as well as Hanson’s Symphony #2, and was released by Universal / DECCA in the fall of 2021. One of his previous releases, “All You Need is Bach,” debuted at No. 1 on the traditional classical charts.
With the help of VPAC’s new 4K projector, audiences will enjoy a real-time HD video projection of his fingers at work, as they command a dizzying combination of 198 organ stops, 108 keys, and 32 foot pedals.
For this performance, Carpenter will preview his program for the NY Phil, which he will perform in David Geffen hall on February 7th, just days after his VPAC debut. His program highlights gargantuan works written for piano – of which he has personally penned arrangements for organ. The night will include two showpieces for virtuosic keyboardists: Bach’s Goldberg Variations, followed by Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Carpenter was born in Pennsylvania and was homeschooled up until high school. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Julliard School in New York City.
Frustrated by the lack of portability of his chosen instrument, Carpenter advocates for the digital organ so a traveling performer can enjoy and use the same instrument in each place he or she performs. Over the course of 10 years, Carpenter designed and commissioned the International Touring Organ (ITO), a one-of-a-kind, customized full-scale portable organ, which cost $2 million to build. The instrument allows Carpenter to travel and perform in venues that have never had an organ. The story of the ITO is the subject of the documentary “The Sound of My Life” (2015).
Experience a one-of-a-kind aural and visual performance as Cameron Carpenter fills the VPAC with his all-encompassing sound and visuals on Feb. 4; you’ve never seen or heard anything like it before.
For more information about VPAC’s schedule and to purchase tickets, visit vilarpac.org or call 970-845-8497.