About Dr. George Becker


George Becker M.D., a graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine, practiced and taught orthopaedic surgery until coming to California in l977. While in medical school, he served as organist-choirmaster at the First Church of Christ (Congregational), 1652, Farmington, Connecticut. Since completing training in psychiatry, in addition to psychotherapy, he specializes in chronic pain evaluation and treatment, orthopaedic consultation and treatment, and medical-legal evaluation.

An organist for over 50 years, he studied with Carlton L'Hommedieu at Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, with Prof. Clarence Watters at Trinity College in Hartford, with Prof. Walther Körner in Nürnberg and with Prof. Hans Heinze in Bremen. He lived for 3½ years in Germany. He has studied the old organs of Europe (especially Holland, and East and West Germany), at times in the company of Charles Krigbaum, former Professor of Organ at Yale, and organ builder Charles Fisk.

Dr. Becker has lectured about organ building and design in several settings including Yale, Harvard, the University of Connecticut, and Colby. He has played recitals in Germany as well as in the United States. He has served as organ advisor to several churches and schools, seeking always to encourage the art of organ building in the classic sense, underscoring the fundamental principles of good placement, good building and good design. Dr. Becker has played dedication recitals for the Flentrop organs in Collinsville, Connecticut and in Branford, Connecticut and has played dedication recitals for the Fisk organs in Collinsville, Connecticut and in Willimantic, Connecticut.

Dr. Becker has been a member of the American Guild of Organists for over 50 years, and a member of the Organ Historical Society (an organization dedicated to consciousness raising, preservation, restoration and rebuilding of many of the splendid organs built here in the United States during the last two centuries). He has played recitals at OHS conventions. He is a founding member of The American Organ Academy. Inspired as a youth by Albert Schweitzer (the famous physician-theologian-organist), Dr. Becker wrote a preface to a treatise on German and French organ building by Dr. Schweitzer, translated by Professor Charles Ferguson of Colby College.

Dr. Becker, following an initial evaluation of the organ by Barbara Owen, served as consultant to Old First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco during the rebuilding of its (1909) Hutchings organ by William Visscher Associates of Felton, California. Dr. Becker currently serves as Assistant Organist at Old First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. Kenneth Matthews is the Director of Music at the church.

email: sfbonedoc[at]aya.yale.edu (you need to type this out - avoids spam)

San Francisco, July 2004