Carl Weinrich

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 of Music in 1930. Upon Farnam's death in 1930, Weinrich succeeded him as the organist at the Church of the Holy Communion in New York City.[2] Weinrich was the organist, choirmaster, and Director of Music at Princeton University Chapel from 1943 to 1973. He also taught at Westminster Choir College, Wellesley College, Vassar College, and Columbia University, performed a recital series at Harvard University,[3] and published a monograph on "Albert Schweitzer's Contribution to Organ-building".[4]

Although primarily known for his performances of Baroque music, Weinrich also performed many 20th-century organ works, including the premieres of Samuel Barber's Prelude and Fugue in B Minor,[5] Louis Vierne's Organ Symphony No. 6 in B minor,[6] and Arnold Schoenberg's Variations on a Recitative (Op. 40).[7] 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,[8] the composer and organist George Lynn,[9] and the musicologist and critic Joseph Kerman.[10]


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.[11] Weinrich's other recordings included:


  1. ^ a b "Carl Weinrich, 86, Bach Organist, Dies". The New York Times. May 15, 1991. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  2. ^ Sandved, Kjell Bloch, ed. (1963). "Weinrich, Carl". The World of Music. 4. Abradale Press. p. 1473. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  3. ^ Randel, Don Michael, ed. (1996). "Weinrich, Carl". The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music. Harvard University Press. p. 975. ISBN 978-0-674-37299-3. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  4. ^ Weinrich, Carl (1945). Albert Schweitzer's Contribution to Organ-building. Sci-art. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  5. ^ "Paul Jacobs to Perform Unpublished Samuel Barber Organ Work" (Press release). Tenth Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. July 2008. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  6. ^ Smith, Rollin (1999). Louis Vierne: Organist of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Pendragon Press. p. 719. ISBN 978-1-57647-004-6. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  7. ^ Sessions, Roger (December 1944). "Schoenberg in the United States". Tempo (9): 2–7. JSTOR 943647.
  8. ^ Briscoe, James R. (1997). Contemporary Anthology of Music by Women. Indiana University Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-253-21102-6. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  9. ^ Galvin, Kitty; Segal, JoAn; Volpe, Cassandra M. (November 2005). "Guide to the George Lynn Collection" (PDF). University of Colorado at Boulder. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-11-23. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  10. ^ Kerman, Joseph (2008). The Art of Fugue: Bach Fugues for Keyboard, 1715–1750. University of California Press. p. xxii. ISBN 978-0-520-25389-6. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  11. ^ "Weinrich Cuts Bach Series". The Billboard. July 14, 1951. p. 13. Retrieved March 25, 2015.