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Ahrens,Joseph(Johannes Clemens)

berlin organ including organist

Ahrens, Joseph (Johannes Clemens), German organist, pedagogue, and composer; b. Som-mersell, April 17, 1904; d. Berlin, Dec. 21, 1997. He was a student of Volbach in Münster and of Sittard and Seiffert in Berlin, where he then pursued his career. In 1928 he became a teacher and in 1936 a prof. at the Akademie für Kirchen-und Schulmusik, and also a teacher of church music at the Hochschule für Musik in 1945. In 1934 he became organist at St. Hedwig Cathedral, and in 1945 organist and choirmaster at the Salvatorkirche. He retired from his various positions in 1972. He publ. the vol. Die Formprinzipien des Gregorianischen Chorals und mein Orgelstil (Heidelberg, 1978). In 1955 he won the Arts Prize of Berlin, in 1963 he became a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, in 1965 he was made a Knight of the Gregorian Order of Rome, and in 1968 he received the Pontifical Medal of Rome. Ahrens was a notable composer of organ and choral music, his output demonstrating an imaginative handling of traditional forms with contemporary usages, including dodecaphony. He composed a Concerto for Organ, 2 Horns, 2 Trumpets, and 4 Percussion (1958), as well as numerous solo organ works, including Verwandlungen I-III (1958–62), Trilogia contrapunctica (1972–76), Trilogia dodekaphonica (1978), Passacaglia dodekaphonica (1980), and several organ masses. Among his choral works were a Si. Matthew Passion (1955), a St. John Passion (1963), and many masses, including the Missa dodekaphonica for Chorus and 8 Instruments (1966).

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