Vita (english) | Ansgar Wallenhorst

The Director of Music at Saint Peter and Paul’s Church in Ratingen, and prizewinner of the 42nd Haarlem Improvisation competition is one of the most distiguished improvisers of his generation. Having performed in more than twenty countries in Europe, North-America, Asia and Australia, Ansgar Wallenhorst has been acclaimed as an ambassador of inspired improvisation and innovative organ culture.

A native of Duisburg, Ansgar Wallenhorst began his organ studies at the age of twelve. He pursued his music degree at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg, where he studied organ and improvisation with Günther Kaunzinger, piano with Norman Shetler and music theory and composition with Zsolt Gárdonyi. He subsequently attended Prof. Kaunzinger’s organ Masterclass and took his master class diploma (Master of Arts) at the age of 25.

He broadened his improvisation skills with Thierry Escaich and in the class of Olivier Latry in Paris, while Maître Jean Guillou provided him with further guidance on interaction of interpretation and improvisation. He took up the study of theology and philosophy in Münster and Paris.

Under his artistic leadership the Orgelwelten Ratingen has become of Germany’s finest venues for organ culture, including an international Festival as well as education-programs, scholarships and commissions.

In 2012 Ansgar Wallenhorst inaugurated the prototype of a new concert console in Ratingen based on an ethernet system. With this innovative concept the organ becomes a fluid instrument and artistic playing is opened up to new challenges.

Recent performances have included appearances at the Cultural Center Hong Kong, the MOFO-Festival in Australia, the Arts Center of Khanty-Mansiysk (RUS) as well as in European Festivals.

In addition to holding teaching positions at the Conservatory in Dortmund and at the Ruhr-University Bochum, the Laureat of the 3ème Concours d’orgue de la Ville de Paris is also a mentor and teacher of individual students. He is regularly invited as a jury member of competitions and festivals and to give masterclasses and lectures in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.