Thomas Richner



Competition Winner

Born: November 11, 1911 (Point Marion, PA)

Died: July 11, 2008 (Worcester, MA)

Thomas Richner was a renowned concert pianist and organist, and winner of a Walter W. Naumburg Foundation Award in 1940.

Making his debut in Town Hall as the Naumburg winner, The New York Times stated, "Anyone who can play Mozart as sensitively and poetically as he did is rarely encountered on the concert platform. Mr. Richner is a born Mozart player and they are few." This launched a brilliant career with acclaimed performances in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia.

Richner grew up in West Virginia eventually moving to New York to study with Dora Zaslavsky, and continuing studies at Columbia University , where he earned the Ed.D. degree. He also studied in Germany with Helmut Walcha,

He eventually taught at Columbia and later at Rutgers College. His book, Orientation for Interpreting Mozart's Piano Sonatas, published in 1953, became a standard textbook.

As the organist of Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist in New York, he collaborated with G. Donald Harrison in designing the rebuilding of and additions to the large Skinner organ. Dr. Richner was later for 22 years the organist of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Mother Church, in Boston.

He composed solos and organ pieces conceived for use in the Christian Science services and made several recordings as soloist and accompanist on the Mother Church organ, the largest built by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company. He was founder and, before his retirement, director of the Richner-Strong Church Music Institute at Colby College in Maine.


1940 Naumburg Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

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Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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