I believe it was also in September years ago when Cameron’s mother, Lynn Carpenter from Townville, called me to ask if her son might enroll in my piano studio. I told her I had a long waiting list and could not accept any new students at the time, but that I would add him to my list. She then said, “I’m sure eager moms tell you all kinds of stories, but here’s what my kid does. We play music at night after he goes to bed — things like Scott Joplin’s piano rags. He’s supposed to be asleep. Next morning, he goes straight to the piano and plays what he heard.” Cameron was 4 years old. “Lynn,” I said, “I think I can probably switch things around a bit.”
And so began a lifelong friendship that I thank the universe on a daily basis I am fortunate enough to share.
In the next few days, Cameron Carpenter will return to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville on Diamond Park where he at age 6 begged every chance he got to be permitted to play the historic Tracker organ there, and to my farm with the 1934 Steinway on which his musical career began, to host the German film crew making a documentary film of his life.
Cameron received the coveted Leonard Bernstein Award in 2012. He has performed in major concert halls across the world and was the only organist ever to be nominated for a Grammy with his “Revolutionary” Telarc recording of 2008. That recording was followed in 2010 by the critically acclaimed “Cameron Live!”
Edition Peters became his publisher in 2010, beginning the ongoing release of his original works. His press features include CNN’s “The Next List,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and many others.
During the years in which I was honored to have Cameron in my studio, Karel Paukert, internationally acclaimed organist and then director of music at the Cleveland Museum of Art once said to me, “You do realize what you have on your hands, don’t you? ... Another little Mozart.”
“I know,” I responded.