The American organist, George Ritchie, has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Redlands. He also holds the Master of Music degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and the Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University. In addition, he has done specialized study in Frankfurt under a German Government Grant with the eminent Bach specialist Helmut Walcha and in Paris with the acclaimed French organist André Isoir. Also, he was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at Harvard University, studying with the noted Bach scholar Christoph Wolff. His organ teachers in the USA have been Raymond Boese, Leslie Spelman, Robert Baker, Vernon de Tar and Clyde Holloway.
George Ritchie has performed to critical acclaim throughout the USA and Canada. He has been a featured artist and lecturer at National Conventions of the American Guild of Organists and at the International Congress of Organists in Montreal. Through his performances and recordings, critics have recognized him as one of the leading interpreters of the organ music of J.S. Bach, with comments such as: "This is Bach as Bach intended his music to be heard" (The Diapason); "These performances are ripe with a depth of scholarship, musicality, and knowledge" (The American Organist); and "This is certainly the finest Bach performance I have heard in a long while" (England's The Organ).
George Ritchie is Professor of Organ Emeritus of the School of Music of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Recently, he received the university-wide Annis Chaiken Sorensen Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities. He came to his current position from Duke University, where he held the post of Chapel Organist.
His set of 11 CD's surveying the complete organ works of J.S. Bach has now been released and has received international praise. At the midway point of the recording project, Simon Fitzgerald wrote in the The Organ: "...once the remaining volumes are released I know that all other discs of Bach in my collection will be obsolete" Recorded on significant recently-built American organs based on organs of Bach's time, these recordings are now available on the Raven label. His recordings for Titanic include Organ Works of J.S. Bach, Four New American Organs by Bedient, and New Music for Organ and Percussion, with Albert Rometo, percussionist.
George Ritchie is co-author with George Stauffer of the book Organ Technique: Modern and Early, published by Oxford University Press. He is in frequent demand throughout North America for lecture-demonstrations, workshops and master classes, often focusing on Bach performance practices and on modern and early playing techniques. He has been an adjudicator for national organ playing competitions.