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Samuel Kummer dead at 56

May 24, 2024
Samuel Kummer
Samuel Kummer

Samuel Kummer, 56, born February 28, 1968, in Stuttgart, Germany, died April 24, 2024, after collapsing in the Dresden Hofbahnhof awaiting a train to travel to Würzburg for teaching duties. He studied church music at the State University for Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, developing a broad repertoire in the organ classes of Ludger Lohmann, Christoph Bossert, and Werner Jacob. He developed his skills as an organ improviser, for which he received an award in his Church Music A Examination, with Wolfgang Seifen, Willibald Betzler, and Hans Martin Corrinth. He participated in masterclasses with Marie-Claire Alain, Daniel Roth, Hans Fagius, and Lorenzo Ghielmi. Kummer was a winner of international organ competitions, such as Concours L’Europe and L’Orgue Maastricht in 1996 and the International Organ Competition Odense in 1998. 

Since 1988, Kummer performed in many European countries, Central America, the United States, and Japan. He appeared in venues in Versailles, Brussels, Riga, Cologne, Regensburg, and in concert halls such as the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, and in Tokyo Opera City at Suntory Hall and Lilia Hall. He concertized at festivals such as the Lucerne Festival, the Styriarte Festival, and Hildebrandt Days in Naumburg. As a soloist he appeared with the Russian State Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden, and the Dresden Philharmonic. 

After seven years as district cantor in Kirchheim unter Teck, Kummer was appointed to the Frauenkirche in Dresden in 2005, where he was heard almost daily until 2022. He initiated several organ concert series regularly featuring the important Dresden organs at the Frauenkirche with its Kern organ, the Hofkirche with its Silbermann organ, the Kreuzkirche with its Jehmlich organ, and the Kulturpalast with its Eule organ. 

Beginning in 2007 he taught organ improvisation and organ literature at the Dresden University of Church Music. He was a jury member at international organ competitions. Samuel Kummer’s CDs with organ works by Bach and Duruflé as well as Vierne, Symphony No. 3 and No. 5 (winning a Diapason d’Or award) received praise in national and international reviews, and his performances were frequently broadcast on radio. Kummer was married to Irena Renata Budryté-Kummer. 


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