John Karl Hirten’s music is published by GIA, Concordia, Augsburg, Trinitas, and others. His compositions have been been favorably reviewed in The Diapason, The American Organist and the Journal of the American Choral Directors Association. His music is well represented in Wonder, Love and Praise, a supplement to the Episcopal Church’s Hymnal. He has been commissioned to write pieces for several conventions of the American Guild of Organists. In addition to church music, he also has written secular pieces, his most recent being Pinot, for organ, brass and percussion, about a wine-tasting adventure!
He holds a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He performs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, having appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, the Berkeley Symphony, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, and the Oakland Ballet. He is a monthly performer at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, an art museum that boasts an E.M. Skinner organ.
Mr. Hirten has over thirty-five years of experience as a church musician, having served at Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York City, St. James Cathedral in Brooklyn, and Old St. Mary's in San Francisco. He is currently Director of Parish Music at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Belvedere. He has worked for synagogues, taught organ at a Baptist Seminary, and has written music for the Lutheran Church. His varied background in church music has led to his being described as an "ecumenical wonder" (GIA Quarterly).