Rilling, Helmuth , noted German organist, conductor, and pedagogue; b. Stuttgart, May 29, 1933. He studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart (1952–55) and later took a course in organ with Fernando Germani at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome (1955–57); went to N.Y. to study conducting with Bernstein (1967). He founded the Stuttgart Gachinger Kantorei in 1954, which he conducted on numerous tours. He taught choral conducting and organ at the Kirchenmusikschule in Berlin-Spandau (1963–66); in 1966 he was appointed to the faculty of the Frankfurt am Main Hochschule für Musik. In 1965 he founded the Stuttgart Bach-Collegium, an instrumental ensemble to accompany his Gachinger Kantorei; made his first tour of the U.S. with it in 1968; in 1969 he succeeded Kurt Thomas as conductor of the Frankfurter Kantorei. He was founder-artistic director of the Ore. Bach Festival in Eugene (from 1970). Rilling has acquired a distinguished reputation as both a performing musician and a teacher.
S. Hansen, H. R.: Conductor, Teacher (Dayton, 1997).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
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