The German organist, musicologist and music pedagogue, Harald Vogel, graduatied from high school in 1960. He then studied church music at the Musikhochschule Hamburg, and in 1966, passed the A-exam as Kantor and organist. In this time he began to give his first organ concerts abroad. From 1967 to 1969, he came to terms with life and work of Arp Schnitger.Vogel was involved in the final version of Gustav Fock's Schnitger monograph and was one of the initiators of the Schnitger-Tagung (Schnitger Meeting) in 1969 in Groningen.
Harald Vogel is recognized as a leading authority on the interpretation of German organ music from the Gothic, Renaissance, and the Baroque periods. As the director of the Norddeutsche Orgelakademie (North German Organ Academy), which he founded in 1972, he teaches historical performance practice on the original instruments. Since 1994, he has also held a professorship at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen. He performs internationally. He has held teaching positions at various institutions, including since 1976 a Professor of organ at Westminster Choir College in Princeton (New Jersey). Vogel has redeveloped the Redeuntes-Kompositionen from the Buxheimer Orgelbuch (c1460) by the interplay of bell and organ. He has led many master-classes at conservatories and universities throughout the world, whereby he has influenced innumerable organists organists in their playing style as well as organ builders and conveys an awareness of the value of historic organs in public,.
A major concern is Harald Vogel's teaching the old way of playing on historic organs. His concept, to bring the original instruments from the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque the respective organ literature in the corresponding and performance practice and play (historical fingerings, Agogik, registration) to represent, had as multipliers effect. His own technique is influenced by the clavichord, with greater awareness of the pressure point of Orgeltraktur is achieved by a natural weight technique of arms.
In 1981, Harald Vogel founded the Dollart Festival, the first European festival for early music that crosses national borders. He was director of the Festival, which was held from 1981 to 2003 as a biennial cross-border with the Netherlands. In 1997 he founded the Organeum label in Weener, which today Winfried Dahlke manages as artistic director.
As superintendent of church music and organ advisor for the Evangelisch-reformierten Kirche (1983-2006), Harald Vogel is esponsible for a large number of historical organs in northwest Germany. As an expert in organ building, he has been a consultant for many organ-building projects, including restorations and new organs. Examples include the organs at Stanford University’s Memorial Church, St. Paul’s in Tokyo, and Gothenburg’s Örgryte New Church.
Among Harald Vogel’s many recordings are those on historical instruments made for Radio Bremen between the year 1961 and 1975. Today, these recordings have particular value as historical documentations. Among the numerous recordings with organ works from the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods highlight in particular the recording of the complete organ works of Dietrich Buxtehude on 17 historic organs highlight (7 CD's). He was also the first to record J.S. Bach on the pedal clavichord.
Harald Vogel’s numerous publications include Bildbände zu den historischen Orgeln in Niedersachsen (Organs in Lower Saxony, Hauschild Verlag, 1997), Orgellandschaft Ostfriesland (The Organ Region of East Frisia, SKN-Verlag, 1996), and Arp Schnitger und sein Werk (together with Cornelius H. Edskes, Hauschild 2009/2013). He has edited the critical edition of Tabulatura nova (1624) by Samuel Scheidt (Breitkopf) and Toccaten und Choralbearbeitungen by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, the first publication of 24 Capricetten in allen Tonarten by Jacob Wilhelm Lustig, the facsimile of the Orgelschule Der sich selbst informirende Clavierspieler (1767) by Michael Johann Friedrich Wiedeburg.
Honors & Awards: In 1983 the Ostfriesischen Landschaft awarded Harald Vogel the Ostfriesische Indigenat. In 2008, he received in Sweden, the honorary doctorate from the Luleå University of Technology, and, in 2012, the Echo Deutschen Musikpreis Klassik award in the category Instrumentalist of the Year (organ) with his album JP Sweelinck: Organ Works Vol. 1 on the Musikproduktion Dabringhaus & Grimm (MDG) label. In 2012 he was awarded the Bremer Musikfest-Preis. In 2014, he received from Oberlin College in Ohio another honorary doctorate.
Among his many pupils are: Thomas Appel, Abram Bezuijen, Holger Boenstedt,Francesco Bravo, Winfried Dahlke, Davide De Lucia, Jonathan Dimmock, Michael Eberth, Jan Ernst, Klaus Geitner, Daniel Glaus, Tobias Götting, David Hamilton, Johan Hermans, Thomas Huck, Cleveland Johnson, Stefan Kagl, Joseph Kelemen, Karsten Krüger, Andrea Marcon, Roland Möhle, Alfred Müller-Kranich, Franns von Promnitzau, Hauke Ramm, Albert-Jan Roelofs, Martin Sander, Uwe Schulze, Martin Strohhäcker, Marcus Strümpe, Ludger Stühlmeyer, Sergej Tcherepanov, Henning Voss, Sietse van Wijgerden.