Article Title:Cameron Carpenter: the 'exorbitant virtuoso'
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Published on:17th July 2013 - 02:28 pm
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Story ID:13663
Text:He is the ‘wild child’ of the organ world; a lover of both men and women with plenty to say and a dazzling talent that he will show off in Auckland this week. American Cameron Carpenter will perform with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra on Thursday 18 July, and give a solo organ recital the following Saturday 20 July, both in the Great Hall of the Auckland Town Hall. The 31-year-old is known for his extravagant costumes, skinny leather jeans, way-out hair styles and diamante studded organ shoes. The critics have called him “an exorbitant virtuoso with wild passion”, a “shrewd showman with dazzling technique and profound thinking” and warned his is “not your grandma’s organist!” You can see some of his mind-boggling skill in the video below! If the organ repertoire doesn’t have what he wants, Carpenter makes it himself, like his Star Wars series or Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude for piano arranged so the rippling arpeggios are played by the feet. With the APO he’ll perform the demanding Symphonie Concertante by Jongen and in his solo concert it’ll be ‘From Bach to Carpenter – and beyond!’ As for his personal life, Carpenter told a journalist for England’s Radio Times last year: “I live a pretty gay life, but I never liked the term ‘gay’. It’s inaccurate, since I also sleep with women…” He expanded on this to recently: “Basically, I have an equal sexual enthusiasm for men and women. I am currently in a relationship with a man. I’ve had physically open relationships. I consider my sexuality difficult to describe. My views about relationships are pretty non-traditional. I do find that sexuality is something that organists tend not to address too much. There are often gay men who are organists who have to suppress that in order to keep their jobs. It’s part of the culture of expectations that organists have for themselves”. When it comes to marriage equality, he adds: “All humans should have equal rights. In general, for me, marriage is sort of a boring concept and not something that I consider particularly relevant to my life; and so I have to say that I am therefore not terribly well informed about it…. It does represent in some way a sort of co-opting of formerly conservative values in a way that might be sort of politically questionable. I think gay marriage is a little strange, but I think it is no stranger than all marriage. But marriage is a legal thing and legal legitimacy must be extended to everyone “. For more information on this week’s shows go to or or - 17th July 2013    
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