Walcha, (Arthur Emil) Helmut

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Walcha, (Arthur Emil) Helmut

Walcha, (Arthur Emil) Helmut , renowned German organist and pedagogue; b. Leipzig, Oct. 27, 1907; d. Frankfurt am Main, Aug. 11, 1991. Although stricken with blindness at age 16, he courageously pursued organ studies with Ramin at the Leipzig Cons. (1922-27). At 17, he made his debut in Leipzig, where he then served as asst. organist at the Thomaskirche (1926-29). In 1929 he settled in Frankfurt am Main as organist of the Friedenskirche. In 1944 he became organist at the Dreikönigskirche. In 1933 he became a teacher at the Hoch Cons. From 1938 to 1972 he was a prof, at the Hochschule für Musik. After World War II, Walcha became internationally known via his recital tours and recordings. His performances of the complete organ works of Bach were distinguished by their insightful interpretations and virtuoso execution. He also championed Bach’s music on period instruments and made appearances as a harpsichordist. Walcha ed. the organ concertos of Handel and composed 25 organ chorales of his own invention.


W. Dehnhard and G. Ritter, eds., Bachstunden (Frankfurt am Main, 1978; Festschrift for W/s 70thbirthday).

—Niolas Slonimky/Laura kuhn/Dennis McIntre

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Walcha, (Arthur Emil) Helmut

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