Johannes Geffert

Johannes Geffert

Organ and improvisation


University of Music and Danse, Cologne

Johannes Geffert, is a professor for organ and improvisation at the State Conservatory for Music in Cologne, where he is also head of the department for protestant church music. Born 1951 as son of a highly recognized organist and director of church music he was brought up in the traditions of his profession. The legendary professor Dr. Michael Schneider, who combined the German and French art of organ playing through his famous teachers Karl Straube and Marcel Duprè, became his teacher when studying church music in Cologne from 1969 till 1972. Geffert continued his education with the British concert organist Nicolas Kynaston.

From 1974 until 1979 Johannes Geffert was organist in Aachen and conductor of the Aachen Bach society, where he founded the Festival “Aachener Bachtage”. From 1980 to 1997 he was director of church music at the Kreuzkirche Bonn, the largest church in former capital of West Germany, which is well known for a high standard of music in worship services and its active concert series with a tradition of performing oratories, cantatas, chamber music and organ recitals. In Bonn Geffert was also organist titulaire of the city’s concert hall “Beethovenhalle”.

In concerts Johannes Geffert has performed at many international organ festivals in the European countries, in Japan, South America, the West Indies and in the United States. His broadcastings and CDs achieve highest acclaim. Since 1978 Geffert had also been teaching at the Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf as well as at various master classes in Germany and abroad. In numerous competitions for organ playing he has been asked as member of the jury. In 1991 Geffert founded the “Johann Christian Bach-Academy” an orchestra for performances with period instruments, which has played all Bach oratories and much of the standard repertoire of church music in many historic churches in Germany. As an editor he overlooks a series of publications with organ music by American and British composers.

Johannes Geffert is considered one of the world’s greatest masters of the art of improvisation.