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Craig Cramer

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Craig Cramer
Visiting Professor of Organ Institute of Sacred Music
At YSM Since: 2020
Teachers the world over live for the day when a student ‘gets it.’ This is the ‘aha’ moment that allows the student to glimpse direct and personal communication with the listener. This deep level of resonance with the music has perhaps been years in the making, and yet its realization lasts only a second and is fleeting. Encouraging the student to ‘let go’ in mind, spirit, and body allows for profound contact with the music, resulting in something magical.

Craig Cramer

Teachers the world over live for the day when a student ‘gets it.’ This is the ‘aha’ moment that allows the student to glimpse direct and personal communication with the listener. This deep level of resonance with the music has perhaps been years in the making, and yet its realization lasts only a second and is fleeting. Encouraging the student to ‘let go’ in mind, spirit, and body allows for profound contact with the music, resulting in something magical.

One of the most accomplished organists of his generation, Craig Cramer maintains an active recital career throughout North America and Europe. Cramer is a visiting professor of organ at the Yale School of Music and the Institute of Sacred Music. He teaches half of the graduate-level organ majors at Yale and the organ seminar.

Cramer served as professor of organ at the University of Notre Dame from 1981 until his retirement from that institution in 2020. He received the university’s Kaneb Distinguished Faculty Award and was instrumental in the installation on the Notre Dame campus of the magnum opus by Paul Fritts and Company—a 69-stop organ that resides in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. 

Cramer is regularly invited to play some of the most important historic organs in the world, including the 1727 König organ in Steinfeld, Germany, the 1725 Hagerbeer/Schnitger in Alkmaar, Netherlands, the Compenius and Marcusson organs in the Frederiksborg Slotskirke in Hilleröd, Denmark, and the new meantone North German Organ built by GoArt in the style of Schnitger in the Örgryte Nya Kyrka in Göteborg, Sweden. Many of Cramer’s performances, which have included the complete organ works of Bach and Buxtehude, have been captured on 16 recordings for various labels and are frequently heard on the nationally syndicated American Public Media program Pipedreams.  

Cramer earned a performer’s certificate and a doctor of musical arts degree in organ from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. He studied with Russell Saunders, William Hays, James Drake, David Boe, and André Marchal.

Recordings
Arkay, Dominant, Dulcian, JAV Recordings, Motette-Ursina, Naxos, Organeum