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date: 20 November 2019

Koch, Caspar (Petrus)locked

  • Vernon Gotwals
  • , revised by Judi Caldwell



(b Karnap, Germany, Nov 25, 1872; d Pittsburgh, PA, April 3, 1970). American organist, born in Germany. His parents immigrated to the USA in 1881 and settled near Alton, Illinois. Koch had to struggle for a musical education but managed to graduate from St Francis College, Joliet, Illinois. He later studied in Berlin with Heinrich Reimann, Franz Kullak, and others, and at the Kirchenmusikschule in Regensburg. He was for 33 years organist at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Pittsburgh and served as a faculty member at Carnegie Institute of Technology from 1914 to 1941. He wrote the authoritative Book of Scales for the Organ (New York, 1918) and the Organ Student’s Gradus ad Parnassum (1945), an interesting, informed, and sensible performance-practice book that became well known. “It deals in detail with the art of organ playing, which outside France and Germany has seemed to lack definition,” wrote Virgil Fox (...

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