Carl Weinrich

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Carl Weinrich (July 2, 1904 – May 13, 1991) was an American organist, choral conductor, and teacher. He was particularly known for his recitals and recordings of Bach's organ music and as a leader in the revival of Baroque organ music in the United States during the 1930s.[1]


Weinrich was born in Paterson, New Jersey and began studying the organ when he was six years old. In addition to private study with Mark Andrews, Marcel Dupré, and Lynnwood Farnam, he received degrees from New York University in 1927 and the Curtis Institute in 1930. In 1930, he also succeeded Lynnwood Farnam as the organist at the Church of the Holy Communion in New York City. He was the organist, choir-master, and Director of Music at Princeton's University Chapel from 1943 to 1973. He also taught at Wellesley College, Vassar, Columbia University and Harvard, and published a monograph on Albert Schweitzer's contribution to organ-building.[2]

Although primarily known for his performances of Baroque music, he also performed many 20th century organ works, including the premieres of Samuel Barber's Prelude and Fugue in B Minor,[3] Louis Vierne's Organ Symphony No. 6 in B minor,[4] and Arnold Schoenberg's Variations on a Recitative (Op. 40).[5] Carl Weinrich died in Princeton, New Jersey at the age of 86 after suffering from Parkinson's Disease for several years.[1] Amongst his students were the composer Betsy Jolas,[6] the composer and organist George Lynn,[7] and the musicologist and critic Joseph Kerman.[8]


In 1951, Weinrich was signed by the MGM Records label to record a multi-volume series of LPs comprising all of Johann Sebastian Bach's organ compositions.[9] His other recordings included:

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b New York Times (May 15, 1991)
  2. ^ Weinrich (1945)
  3. ^ Lawrence (July 30, 2008)
  4. ^ Smith (1999) p. 719
  5. ^ Sessions (December 1944) pp. 2-7
  6. ^ Briscoe (1997) p. 60
  7. ^ University of Colorado at Boulder p. 5
  8. ^ Kerman (2008) p. xxii
  9. ^ Billboard (July 14, 1951) p. 13