October 2014: Appointment to the professorship for Performance Science at Mozarteum University Salzburg.
Irmtraud Tarr is an internationally active concert organist. She can be heard on many CD, radio, and television recordings, many of them on historical instruments. Her preference is for rarities off the beaten track. The Berlin Morgenpost called her "an unusually high-spirited organ artist." She has made CDs, mainly on historical organs, in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, and Latvia. Since 1980 she has played in The Duo with the well-known trumpeter Edward H. Tarr.
Among her prizes and awards are the silver medal from the city of Rheinfelden for cultural achievements (2003) and further ones from Bavaria and Czechia. Because of her valuable contributions to Spanish music she was invited to give a concert – a first for a German organist – on the national holiday in 2009 in the Barcelona cathedral; simultaneously her first Spanish book appeared in print. One of her newest books is concerned with the meaning of life (Das Leben macht Sinn, Kreuz/Herder).
Irmtraud Tarr is also a psychotherapist and music therapist (Ph. D., University of Hamburg 1987, followed by a Habilitation) working in her own practice. In the fall of 2014 she became University Professor for performance science at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria) and shut down her practice.
She is the author of many articles and to date 33 books from her various fields of interest. Particularly worthy of note are a book on stage fright (Kreuz-Herder), as well as another which has been translated into English: Performance Power (Summit Books, Tempe AZ, ISBN 1-887210-00-8); Die magische Kraft der Beachtung (Herder), in which light is shed on a fundamental human need hitherto neglected in publications; So zähmen Sie einen Stachelschwein – Vom Umgang mit schwierigen Menschen [How to Tame a Porcupine – on dealing with difficult people] (Herder) und Das Donald Duck-Prinzip – Scheitern als Chance für ein neues Leben [The Donald Duck Syndrome – failure as a chance for a new life] (Gütersloher Verlagshaus). Irmtraud Tarr can be often seen and heard in all the media.
In her spare time, multitalent Tarr is an enthusiastic cheese-maker, and in recent years she has finally realized a lifelong dream: to play the double bass. On October 17, 2000 in the cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota she gave the world premiere of a spectacular piece written for her, Variations on a Theme that Somebody Threw Away, and No Wonder ...) for double bass and organ (one person) by Peter Schickele AKA P. D. Q. Bach.
Picture: Irmtraud Tarr as organist-double bassist during a performance
(2005) of Peter Schickele's Variations.
Irmtraud Tarr now appears in a duo with the actress Claudia Olma. Their performances are characterized by a novelty – organ, double bass, and life-size puppets –, that make each concert unique. A journalist commented: “In another year tickets for such an event will be hard to come by.” Olma and Tarr bewitch the soul, transport their listeners into another world, and never leave the venue without a standing ovation.
Claudia Olma: Since 1993 she has been a member of the troupe in the marotte Figurentheater Karlsruhe (actress, set designer, and director).
Tours to France, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Croatia, Czechia, Ireland, India, Japan, Russia et al.
Besides diverse activities in children’s and young people’s theaters, further ones in the areas of singing, cabaret, and dancing with masks and self-made life-size puppets.
Picture: Claudia Olma with one of her life-size puppets (2005)
Since 1998 frequent collaborations with the Figurentheater Wilde & Vogel, Stuttgart.
Since 2000 engagement in the Chawwerusch Theater, Herxheim, Rheinland-Palatinate.
Collaboration with Frank Soehnle, André Leroy, Holger Friedrich, Hans Scheibner, Ronald Mernitz, Uwe Steinbach, Hendrik Mannes, Friederike Krahl et al.
Work as director in the Theaterhaus Alpenrod, Bonn; Chaussée Theater, Schweighofen; Theater trirakel - töne texte theater, Lauterbach.
Training: After a study year in acting in Basel and a four-year engagement as an actress in the Sandkorn Theater, Karlsruhe, Claudia Olma studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart (Stuttgart conservatory), finishing with a diploma in 1995.