Harald Vogel is a name instantly familiar to those conversant with baroque organ music: he is a leading authority on the interpretation of German organ music from the eighteenth century and earlier. No surprise, then that he will be the keynote performer at the concert festival and conference inaugurating Cornell’s new baroque organ, to be held March 8, 13 on Cornell’s campus (see Events for details).
Among Vogel’s many accomplishments is his landmark recording of the complete organ works of Buxtehude, made on restored antique organs of North Germany and the Netherlands. The recording established Vogel as “King of the Buxtehude players,” wrote a reviewer for Fanfare Magazine. Vogel will play a piece by Buxtehude during the keynote concert, as well as works by Sweelinck, Bruhns, and the Bachs.
Vogel is professor of organ at the University of the Arts Bremen and founder of the North German Organ Academy. In addition to his skills as an organist, he is an expert in organ building and has consulted on restorations and original creations such as Stanford University’s Memorial Church, St. Paul’s in Tokyo, and Goteborg’s Orgryte Kyrkan.
“Harald Vogel has been the main person responsible for the restoration and rescue of countless historic organs, especially those of Arp Schnitger, since the 1960’s,” says Annette Richards, Cornell professor of music. “He’s the person who brought the whole north German 17th-century repertoire of music out of the shadows: he played it and taught other people how to play it. Just about everyone who wants to play this music and these organs studies with him, so he has generations and generations of students. And he’s still incredibly energetic and articulate and devoted to the organ.
“He’s excited to be coming here to play this beautiful new instrument. For us, it will be an unforgettable experience to hear him play it.”