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Vita

Barbara Kraus, concert organist and author, lives in Hamburg. She is well known as soloist on historical and modern organs at internationally renowned Concerts concerts, festivals and broadcast in Germany, France, Spain, Danmark, Great Britain, Austria and Russia. Until now she recorded four Solo-CDs Solo-CDs.

Her Repertoire repertoire concentrates on German baroque music and German Classic, as well as on French music of the Romantic era and early 20th century.

The Concert Programmes concert programmmes of Barbara Kraus are convincing the audience, not only because of their aesthetically and dramatically well planned conception, but also because of the great variety of sound and the spontaneously inspiring performance.

She is member of the jury of the German National Youth Competition "Jugend Musiziert" and is publishing Arrangements arrangements for organ as well as Books books about organ history and organ technique Books [Resonance]. With these subjects she is holding advanced trainig courses and lectures for cantors and organists as well as for organ students in various conservatories.

Her musical education took place at various institutions: She finished her studies of organ/improvisation, which she had started at Bayreuth, at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg (Degree "A-Diplom"). A scholarship of the DAAD enabled her to intensify her knowledges of french organ music at Conservatoire National d.R. Boulogne-Billancourt/ Paris under thr tuition of André Isoir (Degree Diplôme de Fin d’Études, mention très bien). Besides her development as an organist, she finished her education as a classical pianist (with Margarita Höhenrieder and Erich Appel) at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg (Degree "künstlerisches Diplom").

 

Tracks "Johann Sebastian Bach, Oeuvres d'Orgue "

 

MUSICA SACRA 3/2004, page 50: Barbara Kraus: "Techniques of Practising the Organ"

This book is a treasure trove of new practising models for the pupil and for the teacher a welcome aid when assessing and helping students with difficulties. The introduction goes into the general aspects of organ practising.

How does one practise a new piece? Which technical weaknesses are connected with unconscious conditioning? Highly interesting is the comparison between organ- and piano-practising in the 19th and 20th century.

Not only because for both epochs the most common teaching books have been mentioned, but also because both seemingly "incompatible worlds" of the piano and organ have been brought somewhat closer to one another. In the practical part, technical aspects of organ playing have been dealt with separately in a clear and structured way: variations of silent thumb-crossings, quick alternation of hands (also with crossed-over-hands!), invaluable exercises especially for the pedal and co-ordination of hands and feet using one's hearing.

Very well done is the chapter on "movement-inhibitors in notes" as are the steps towards overcoming them. The advice on mentally practising without the organ and cognitive preparation for a recital give this book an all-round finishing touch. Especially worth mentioning is the contribution from the French organist André Isoir who, without beating about the bush, sums up the movements of a good manual and pedal technique. Highly recommendable!

Ronny Krippner

 

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