Virtuoso organist Cameron Carpenter will become a musical ambassador for You Can Play, announcing the partnership during festival activities at Lincoln Center in New York.
Carpenter, a widely regarded organist, will begin a tour in support of his new Sony Classical collection, “If You Could Read My Mind,” and will introduce an international touring organ during the festivities.
Carpenter grew up in a hockey family in Meadville, PA, where his father was a competitive player and youth coach. Carpenter explains his connection to, and enthusiasm for, You Can Play’s mission: “My childhood was vastly enriched by a unique fusion of music and sports, because I played the organ for my father’s hockey games. Once I entered my teenage years, my life had already been dedicated to music, but I was still connected to the hockey family through the keyboards. By playing, I could play. The organ has the strongest voice, and some of the deepest cultural associations, of any musical instrument. It’s a sound that commands us to stand up – not just for our national anthem, but also for each other.
You Can Play executive director Wade Davis shares his excitement for welcoming Cameron to the You Can Play team: “Cameron Carpenter is a passionate advocate who grew up in a hockey family and understands the need to create safe spaces in sports for LGBT youth. Beyond being a brilliant artist, Cameron recognizes he has an opportunity to use his celebrity and platform to raise awareness to ensure all LGBT people know sports provides spaces where they can thrive. The You Can Play Project is honored to have Cameron as an ambassador and join the You Can Play team.”
A composer-performer unique among keyboardists, Carpenter’s approach to the organ is smashing the stereotypes of organists and organ music while generating a level of acclaim, exposure, and controversy unprecedented for an organist. His repertoire – from the complete works of J. S. Bach and Cesar Franck, to his hundreds of transcriptions of non-organ works, his original compositions, and his collaborations with jazz and pop artists – is perhaps the largest and most diverse of any organist. He is the first organist ever nominated for a GRAMMY® Award for a solo album.