During his fall 2008 tour of historic Hook organs in New England, German organist Matthias Schmelmer will perform concerts at three area churches.
Matthias Schmelmer was born in 1971 in Forchleim, Bavaria, Germany, where he had his first lessons in piano and organ.
From 1993 to 1998, he studied church music at the Berliner Kirchenmusikschule with Karl Hochreither on organ, and with Martin Behrmann on choral conducting. From 1998 to 2003, he worked as a church musician for the Protestant Church of Celle in Lower Saxony, North Germany.
Since 2003, he has been organist and director of music of the Protestant Church of the Holy Cross and Church of the Passion in Berlin.
At the Church of the Holy Cross, he plays an Opus 553, E&GG Hook organ of 1870 vintage. The organ formerly stood in the First Unitarian Church of Woburn, Mass. In 1991 it was sold, dismantled and brought to Berlin. In 2001, the organ was renovated and installed at Holy Cross, where it is the only Hook organ in Germany.
Schmelmer will perform on three historic E&GG Hook organs in Maine churches. He will perform works of Bach, Foote, Mendelssohn, Paine, Rheinberger and Ritter.
The schedule is:
ä 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, at South Parish Church in Augusta.
ä 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at St. John’s Catholic Church, 207 York St. Bangor.
ä 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at Elm Street Congregational Church, 31 Elm St., Bucksport. The concert will be played on the church’s historic E&GG Hook Organ, Opus 328, built in 1863. Admission is free, but donations will be appreciated.
Sponsors of the concerts are St. John’s Organ Society, South Parish Congregational Church, Elm Street Congregational Church, Andover Organ Co. and the Hampton Inn Bangor.