Craig Hum­ber per­form­ing this week­end in Corner Brook

Benoit’s Cove pi­anist bring­ing his tal­ents to First United Church.

The Western Star - - Front Page - BY DANETTE DOO­LEY SPE­CIAL TO THE WESTERN STAR [email protected]

Award-win­ning con­cert or­gan­ist Craig Hum­ber is home on the prov­ince’s west coast and will per­form Sun­day evening at the First United Church in Corner Brook.

Orig­i­nally from Benoit’s Cove, Hum­ber is or­gan­ist and di­rec­tor of mu­sic in the Vo­tivkirche church in Vi­enna, Aus­tria.

The large, his­toric church has four or­gans in­clud­ing what Hum­ber refers to as “one of the most beau­ti­ful and best­p­re­served Ger­man Ro­man­tic or­gans in Europe.”

The elab­o­rate or­gan was built by the cel­e­brated pipe or­gan builder E.F. Wal­cker in 1878 and in­au­gu­rated by Aus­tralian com­poser An­ton Bruck­ner.

“The in­ter­est­ing thing about this in­stru­ment is that it’s al­most com­pletely in­tact, com­pletely pre­served. … A few of the front pipes were lost in the First World War but they had been re­con­structed. And, apart from that, ev­ery­thing is orig­i­nal,” Hum­ber said of the soon-to-be 140-year-old in­stru­ment.

While doc­u­ments aren’t avail­able for con­fir­ma­tion, Hum­ber said, it’s be­lieved that Ger­man com­poser Jo­hannes Brahms is among the fa­mous peo­ple who have played the or­gan.

To be given an op­por­tu­nity to walk in the foot­steps of such world-renowned com­posers is an hon­our Hum­ber takes very se­ri­ously.

“It’s also quite in­ter­est­ing be­cause I have ex­perts from all over the world that come to ex­am­ine the in­stru­ment and to play it. They ask for my ad­vice. The in­stru­ment is very im­por­tant for the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the mu­sic as well. It gives much

in­sight that you can’t learn any­where else – not at a con­ser­va­tory or from a teacher.” rrr

Hum­ber stud­ied at Memo­rial’s Gren­fell Col­lege be­fore trans­fer­ring to Nova Sco­tia’s Aca­dia Univer­sity where he grad­u­ated in 1998 with a dou­ble ma­jor in math and physics.

His bi­og­ra­phy notes that from 1999-2005, he trained un­der Pro­fes­sor Arvid Gast in the Bach city, Leipzig, Ger­many, grad­u­at­ing in or­gan per­for­mance (ma­jor­ing also in piano and harp­si­chord).

Gast is an au­thor­ity on Ger­man Ro­man­tic mu­sic, Hum­ber


Fol­low­ing his stud­ies in Ger­many, Hum­ber stud­ied at the Univer­sity for Mu­sic and Per­form­ing Arts in Vi­enna un­der Pro­fes­sor Michael Rad­ulescu.

Rad­ulescu (who has since re­tired) is a well-known ex­pert on Baroque mu­sic, Hum­ber said.

Once his stud­ies were be­hind him, Hum­ber de­cided to make Vi­enna his home.

He started his po­si­tion at the church in Vi­enna in Jan­uary.

While some of his mentors such as Gast and Rad­ulescu are very well known, Hum­ber looks closer to home when talk­ing about his most im­por­tant


“With­out my teacher in Corner Brook, Gary Gra­ham, I’d never have the po­si­tions or the op­por­tu­ni­ties that I’ve been for­tu­nate enough to have. I’m so thank­ful to him for that. … The ba­sics I learned from (Gra­ham) — even af­ter all the years at these con­ser­va­to­ries — are the things I al­ways draw on when I’m pre­par­ing for recitals. He’s a won­der­ful, won­der­ful man.”

Hum­ber is well known to peo­ple in the Corner Brook area. He’s had “fan­tas­tic sup­port” from the com­mu­nity over the years, he said.

“From the time I started my first lessons and first recitals up un­til my very last recital they’ve been be­hind me 100 per cent of the way. I’m very thank­ful for that and it al­ways makes it a plea­sure for me to come back and play.”

Hum­ber and his wife Sabine Hum­ber run a mu­sic stu­dio from their home in Vi­enna. The cou­ple have a five-year-old daugh­ter, Re­nee Sonja.

Af­ter leav­ing this prov­ince the end of the month, Hum­ber will pre­pare to em­bark on a con­cert tour in Ger­many.

Sun­day evening’s con­cert is part of the Gros Morne Sum­mer Mu­sic Se­ries. The event be­gins at 8 pm.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Hum­ber and his mu­sic visit www.craighum­


Craig Hum­ber is shown at the E.F.Wal­cker or­gan of 1878 in the Vo­tivkirche, Vi­enna ,Aus­tria in this sub­mit­ted photo.


Craig Hum­ber (front) per­forms at the Vo­tivkirche in Vi­enna, Aus­tria with the help of page turner Sabine Hum­ber.

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