Gereon Krahforst


Gereon Krahforst was born in 1973 in Bonn, Germany. He studied composition, church music, piano, and music theory at the university for music in Cologne, musicology at the University of Cologne and received his diploma and masters degree in organ in Frankfurt. He has studied privately with Markus Karas, John Birley (before the university studies), and then with Clemens Ganz, and Daniel Roth. During and after those studies, he participated in masterclasses with Marie-Claire Alain, Thierry Escaich, Peter Planyavsky, Jon Laukvik (ancient music), Guy Bovet, Wolfgang Seifen, Tomasz A. Nowak, Franz Lehrndorfer and many others. Other significant mentors are Petr Eben and professional friendships with Jean Guillou, Marie-Louise Langlais and Stephen Tharp.

At the age of 26, he was appointed director of music and organist at the Minster basilica in Moenchengladbach, Germany, and at age 27, he worked as director of music at the Cathedral of Minden, Germany. At the age of 29, he was appointed cathedral organist at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Paderborn and lecturer (Gregorian Chant) at the theological seminary of Paderborn. In 2004, he was appointed lecturer and instructor of organ at the University of Music in Hannover. In 2011, he moved to Spain where he was organist at the Incarnation Church of the world-famous town Marbella at the Costa del Sol in Andalucia, playing the nationally significant “Órgano del Sol Mayor”; since August 2012, he has been cathedral organist and associate director of music at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Improvises a free piece in the style of Robert Schumann – Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Gereon Krahforst – Improvisation on the Paderborn’s Libori Hymn tune – Klais Organ in the Cathedral of Cologne

Otto Maria Krämer


Otto Maria Krämer studied at the Folkwang Hochschule, Essen and at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. His teacher was Wolfgang Seifen. In 1995 he won the first prize of the Concours d’Improvisation a l’orgue Montbrison. He teaches now in the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne.


Otto Maria Kramer: Improvisations

Suite Francaise – Plein jeu
Suite Francaise – Fugue
Suite Francaise – Récit
Suite Francaise – Basse de trompette
Suite Francaise – Quatuor
Suite Francaise – Duo
Suite Francaise – Tierce en taille
Suite Francaise – Dialogue sur les grands jeux
Symphonie Francaise – Allegro ma non troppo
Symphonie Francaise – Cantabile
Symphonie Francaise – Scherzando on “Macht hoch die Tür”
Symphonie Francaise – Prière
Symphonie Francaise – Final
Improvisation in Memoriam Marcel Dupré on “Ave maris stella”

YouTube Channels

YouTube is a great place to visit in order to see and hear many different organists improvise. Some even have their own channels. Listed below are artists and other YouTube channels that include improvisation videos as a significant portion of their content.


Other Users


French Classical Style

The French classical style runs parallel with the German baroque. The organ had a highly standardized stoplist, in line with its (almost exclusively) liturgical use. The compositions were highly standardized too, generally named by the stops that were to be used (e.g Plein jeu, Basse de Trompette, Tierce en Taille) and the function within mass or the chant theme (e.g Kyrie, Gloria, Ave Maria Stella).

A series in the newsletter covered the style and the different movements and registrations often used during the period:


Michel Chapuis – Grand Jeu Classique – St. Ouen
Michel Chapuis – Improvisations in French classical style – Chapelle Royale, Paris
Otto Maria Krämer – Suite Francaise – Plein jeu
Otto Maria Krämer – Suite Francaise – Fugue
Otto Maria Krämer – Suite Francaise – Récit
Otto Maria Krämer – Suite Francaise – Basse de trompette
Otto Maria Krämer – Suite Francaise – Quatuor
Otto Maria Krämer – Suite Francaise – Duo
Otto Maria Krämer – Suite Francaise – Tierce en taille
Otto Maria Krämer – Suite Francaise – Dialogue sur les grands jeux
Wolfgang Seifen – Suite in French Style – Marienbasilika – Kevelaer

Wolfgang Seifen

Wolfgang SeifenIn 2000 Wolfgang Seifen was appointed professor of improvisation at the Universität der Künste in Berlin, and in 2004 he was appointed the organist of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin.

Official Website:

Full bio. You can hear him on Spotify.

He has his own channel on YouTube:

Suite in French Style – Marienbasilika – Kevelaer

Wolfgang Seifen and Ensemble “Virga Strata”
Gregorian Chant and Organ Improvisation

ohscatalog_2270_67269471Wolfgang Seifen Improvises, Live Concert
Wolfgang Seifen improvises in a live concert at Holy Ghost Church in Mannheim, Germany.