Organ concerts in St. James Basilica in Prague are very famous for their long tradition and absolutely unique sound of the organ instrument.
Karol Mossakowski is reputed to be one of the most talented organists of young generation. He is an acknowledged interpreter and improvisator. Being only three years old, he started to be tutored by his father, playing the piano, later the organ. He graduated from the Music Academy in Poznan under E. Karolak and J. Tarnawski. After that he studied the organ, improvisation and composition at the Conservatoire in Paris. His teachers included O. Latry, M. Bouvard, T. Escaich, P. Lefebvre and L. Fassang. His most remarkable success came in 2016, gaining the “Grand Prix” at the International Organ Competition in Chartres (France). Prior to that he had won the F. Nowowiejski International Competition in Poznan (2010), the Prague Spring International Music Competition in Prague (2013) and other three competitions in France (Angers, Biarritz and Strasburg). He was a young artist in residence at St. Ludwig Cathedral in New Orleans (USA) for six months (from the end of 2014). He gave many concerts there and taught the organ and improvisation. In 2016 the Polish Institute for Music and Dance presented him with the “Master of Polish Music” award. He has given concerts at many significant festivals all around the world, performing wide range of organ literature. He is a keen improvisator and a piano and organ accompanist to silent films. Mr Mossakowski is a titular organist of the Cathedral in Lille (France), a professor of improvisation at the High Music School in Saint-Sébastien (Spain) and a residential organist of Radio France in Paris (since 2019).
The St. James´s organ is the largest organ in Prague and second largest in the Czech Republic. The two-manual organ with a pedal keyboard and 26 stops was completed in 1705 by Abraham Stark of Loket.
The organ´s case, which is still admired today, was quite unique in its time. So far the latest major reconstruction was carried out between 1981 and 1982 by "Varhany Krnov" (Rieger-Kloss). At present the organ has four manuals, 91 speaking stops and 8,277 pipes.