Stephen Tharp

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Stephen Tharp, 2019

Stephen J. Tharp (born April 12, 1970) is an American organist. A critic for The Dallas Morning News wrote that he is "one of the most brilliant concert organists around these days."[1]


Having graduated from Illinois College and Northwestern University, where he studied with Rudolf Zuiderveld and Wolfgang Rübsam, respectively, Tharp also studied privately in Paris with Jean Guillou.[2] He has performed extensively, having gone on more than 32 solo tours, and given over 800 concerts in North America alone.[3] Additionally, he has given masterclasses at Yale University, Westminster Choir College, Cleveland Institute of Music, and other venues, as well as served on jurys for competitions at Juilliard and Northwestern University.[4] Tharp has recorded numerous CDs, including the complete organ works of Jeanne Demessieux, which won him the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.[5]

From 1995 to 1997, he was the organist at St. Patrick's Cathedral. From 1998 to 2002, he was Associate Organist at St. Bartholomew's. During the 2013/2014 season, he was Artist-in-Residence at the Grace Church in Manhattan. In 2008, Tharp was appointed as the official organist for the New York visit of Pope Benedict XVI.[4] Tharp is listed in the Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.[6] He was also featured in a number of full programs on American Public Media's Pipedreams.[7] In addition, he was awarded the 2011 International Performer of the Year by the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists.[4]

In addition to being a composer and transcriber in his own right, Tharp is a frequent performer of modern works, having premiered works by Philip Moore, Anthony Newman, Thierry Escaich, and others.[5]

Since November 2014, he has been Artist-in-Residence at St. James' Church Madison Avenue in New York City.


  1. ^ Cantrell, Scott. "Churches' choir, organ concerts thrill and dazzle". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Stephen Tharp". AGO Boston 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Stephen Tharp". Aeolus. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Oron, Aryeh. "Stephen Tharp (Organ)". Bach Cantatas Website. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Stephen Tharp". Naxos. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Organist Stephen Tharp in concert". Cincinnati American Guild of Organists. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Stephen Tharp, 2011 Organist of the Year". Pipedreams. American Public Media. Retrieved 3 March 2016.

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