CAMERON CARPENTER was born in Pennsylvania in 1981. A keyboard prodigy, he performed Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier at age 11 before joining the American Boychoir School as a boy soprano. His first forays into composition began during this time with early choral and string works, including a 1993 cantata for voices and orchestra on passages from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.
During his four years of high school studies at The North Carolina School of the Arts, he made his first studies in orchestration and orchestral composition and transcribed for the organ more than 100 major works, including Gustav Mahler's complete Symphony No. 5 and Robert Schumann's Novelletten, Op. 21. Carpenter continued composing after moving to New York City in 2000 to attend The Juilliard School. While at the School 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 Liszt, Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Godowsky, and others. He received a Master's Degree fromThe Juilliard School in New York in 2006.
The same year, he began his worldwide organ concert tours and recorded his first commercial CDs and DVDs, generating a level of acclaim and controversy unprecedented for an organist. He has performed world premieres of his own works at venues ranging from The Royal Albert Hall in London (Love Song No. 1) and the Gewandhaus in Leipzig (Homage to Klaus Kinski) to the 2008 national convention of the American Guild of Organists (Nautical Rhapsody), and has included several world premiere recordings on his Telarc® albums Revolutionary and Cameron Live.
He was first commissioned to compose for the organ in 2006 (New York City Sessions, commissioned by The Skylight Foundation, Philadelphia, PA); Edition Peters became his publisher in 2010.
“…he challenges all preconceptions about organ music and its leading exponents…”
—The Wall Street Journal
“He has pushed the boundaries of organ technique to breathtaking heights, meshing virtuosity with musical intelligence."
—The New York Times
“[his] flamboyant presentation goes hand in hand with unquestioned virtuosity.”
—The New Yorker