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Christopher Wrench (Organ)

Born: 1958 - Brisbane, Australia

The renowned Australian organist and lecturer, Christopher Wrench, attended Brisbane Grammar School, the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and undertook postgraduate studies in Vienna at the Vienna Conservatorium and then at the Hochschule für Musik (with Michael Radulescu). His musical formation was strongly influenced by pianist Nancy Weir in Brisbane and organ mentors Leopold Marksteiner and Michael Radulescu in Vienna. Wrench has gained considerable success as an organist in international competitions. He wom 1st Prize at the Melbourne (Melbourne International Festival of Organ and Harpsichord ‘Bach Competition’ in 1985, Audience Prize at the International Organ Competition in St Albans in 1989, 2nd Prize at the International Organ Competition in Dublin in 1989 and 1990), 1st Prize at the International Organ Competition in Odense, Denmark in 1992.

Christopher Wrench returned to Australia in 1991. He performs regularly as recitalist in all major Australian venues and organ festivals and has appeared as soloist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Adelaide Chamber Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Youth Symphony Orchestra. Annual concert tours have taken him to Austria (including Augustinerkirche, Klosterneuburg, St Stephen’s Cathedral); Canada; the Czech Republic; Denmark; England (including Westminster Abbey and King’s College Cambridge); Germany; Hong Kong; Italy and Sweden. His live and studio performances are broadcast regularly.

Christopher Wrench commands a broad solo repertoire including the complete organ works of J.S. Bach, whilst also working as a liturgical musician, pedagogue and chamber player. Since 1991 he teaches organ at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffi th University and directs the music program at St Mary’s Anglican Church, Kangaroo Point in Brisbane. In 2008 he was awarded the Lord Mayor’s Australia Day Cultural Award for his outstanding contribution to the musical life of Brisbane.

Recordings: J.S. Bach Organ Sonatas, BWV 525–530, Garnisons Kirke, Copenhagen; Melba Recordings (2009).

One review of a performance of Wrench in 2005 recorded, "Christopher’s was the last of three, all featuring the music of Bach, presented as part of the 4MBS Festival of Classics. The nature of the music, filled with Bach’s focus on the Almighty, was an intense affair, marked with Wrench’s marvellous musicianship, an abiding sense of architecture and, it seems paradoxical to say amidst such rigour, an expressive freedom of phrasing."
Another review recorded, "Christopher Wrench, arguably Brisbanes finest organist, played the organ for this piece, as well as providing a triumphant version of Brahms' great Chorale Prelude and Fugue on "O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid" (Oh sadness, oh heartfelt pain), with its aching harmonies and spine-shivering cadences."

Source: Melba Recordings Website; Wikipedia Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (September 2009)

Christopher Wrench: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Christopher Wrench (Melba)

Christopher Wrench (Wikipedia)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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