Otto Maria Krämer
Since many years Otto Maria Krämer has a very good reputation as an excellent and extremely original improviser.
Otto Maria Krämer was born in 1964 and made his début as church organist in 1974 and has served as organist and choir director for a number of churches since.
He started studying Catholic church music in 1986 at the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen, continuing at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf, studying organ with Prof. Paul Heuser, composition with Prof. Herbert Callhoff and improvisation with Prof. Wolfgang Seifen. He completed his studies and became a fully qualified professional church musician in 1994.
He has participated in several master classes, with the emphasis on organ improvisation, including the Second International Organ Academy, Altenberg, with Daniel Roth (Paris), Gaston Litaize (Paris), Peter Planyavsky (Vienna), Wolfgang Stockmeier (Cologne) and Wolfgang Seifen (Berlin).
Since October 1993 he has been Director of music and organist at the church of St. Peter and Paul in Straelen, Germany.
Otto M. Krämer is also active as a composer: his works include "Fünf symphonische Momente" for organ, 1992; "Prélude et Fugue dansée sur le nom de GASTON" for organ 1995, "Messe brève" for four-part choir and organ, 1996, "Subvenite" for soprano, baritone, organ and orchestra, 1998 “Messe solennelle” from Louis Vierne arranged for orchestra and organ 1999; "Epitaph for JSB" for organ 2000 ; "Exsultate Deo" for four-part-choir and organ 2000; Missa Festiva for Choir, Organ and Chamberorchestra 2005.
He regularly gives organ recitals, with an emphasis on improvisation through the ages and is well known for his ability to create many different styles. His speciality is a symbiosis of new sound in traditional form-schemes, both Suites, Partita, Variations as well as an improvised Symphony.
In 1995, he won second prize at the "International Organ Improvisation Contest" in Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Germany and was also awarded the winning prize at the « Concours d'Improvisation a l'orgue Montbrison », France.
He has played recitals and given masterclasses in France, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg; Kondopoga ), Germany, USA (New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Chicago, Washington, Tuscon, Portland etc.) and Canada. In spring 2006 he taught as Visiting Professor for Organ improvisation at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ., USA.