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Creating New Visions: Martin Sturm is appointed professor of organ and organ improvisation at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar

Prof. Martin Sturm | Photo: Guido Werner

Creating New Visions: Martin Sturm is appointed professor of organ and organ improvisation at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar

Organist Martin Sturm has been appointed as the youngest professor at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar. He has been teaching as a professor of organ and organ improvisation at the Department of Music Education and Church Music since October 2019, following on from Prof. Michael Kapsner. “For me, teaching in Weimar as an organist and church musician means drawing on this rich and globally significant organ and musical culture on a daily basis and forming the future from it”, says Martin Sturm.

“Weimar’s unique organ landscape shows how important the organ was for people in the past. In Weimar, composers like Bach and Liszt turned the musical world upside-down with this instrument. I want to support young musicians in all their diversity and create room for new vision within this long and living tradition. Because, even in the future a complex world requires the complex sound-cosmos of the organ”, continues Sturm.

Martin Sturm, born 1992 in Velburg, Bavaria has won international competitions for interpretation and improvisation. These include 1st and special prizes for the best performance on historical organs at the interpretation competition of the International Organ Week Nuremberg 2018, 1st prize at the International Improvisation Competition Schwäbisch Gmünd 2017, and 1st prize at the competition of the International Organ Festival Albans 2013.

In 2018, he was awarded the Bavarian culture prize “Kulturpreis Bayern” from Bayernwerk AG under the patronage of the Bavarian Ministry for Science and Art. In 2017, he received the University Association Würzburg Keck-Köppe-Foundation scholarship prize for “exceptional artistic achievement, particularly in the areas of organ playing and improvisation”. His concerts have regularly led Martin Sturm to international festivals, such as the International Organ Festival Bergamo, the International Organ Festival St. Albans or the International Organ Week Nuremberg. In addition, he performs in important churches and cathedrals and large European concert halls as well as on many famous historical organs. He also plays as a soloist on a number of historical keyboard instruments, such as clavichord, harpsichord, or theatre organs – and is an active jazz pianist as well.

Martin Sturm has also drawn attention as a composer. He has composed a diverse oeuvre and has received commissions from the John-Cage-Organ-Foundation Halberstadt and the Monteverdi-Choir Würzburg, amongst others. He is also very active in the areas of research and organ building: He initiates and oversees organ restoration projects and the building of new instruments, undertakes research on historical instruments and the future development of the organ, and is regularly invited to international symposiums.

Martin Sturm studied church music (exam A) and organ at the University of Music Würzburg under Prof. Christoph Bossert with a scholarship from the “Stiftung des Deutschen Volkes” (Foundation of the German Folk). Subsequently, he undertook his Masters’ degree from 2017 to 2019 at the University of Music Leipzig under Prof. Martin Schmeding and Prof. Thomas Lennartz. He has also taken master classes with Theo Brandmüller, Henry Fairs, Lászlo Fassang, Andrés Cea Galán, Wolfgang Seifen, Ulrich Süße and Balázs Szabó, amongst others.

He taught improvisation and liturgical organ as a TA at the University of Music Würzburg from 2013 to 2017 and then from 2019 at the University of Music and Theatre Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Leipzig. Martin Sturm has been the new professor for organ and organ improvisation at the Department of Music Education and Church Music at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar since the winter semester 2019/20.

For more information see: www.martinsturm-online.de