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Karl-Bernhardin Kropf was born in 1966 in Klagenfurt, Austria. He received first piano and organ education at the Carinthia State Conservatory, and started his career as a part-time organist for the R. C. church.

From 1986 he studied at Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts (catholic church music, lutheran church music, organ soloist diploma, additional studies in music theory and conducting), organ with Alfred Mitterhofer, hymn playing with Peter Planyavsky. From 1992 he was a student of Daniel Roth, Paris, at the Saarland University of Music, Saarbrücken for the Improvisation soloist diploma.
Degrees: M. A. Church Music (both lutheran and catholic) in 1992, M. A. organ soloist 1993, Improvisation 1994, each with distinction.

He attended masterclasses for organ performance practice and improvisation held by Michael Radulescu, Jean-Claude Zehnder, Andrea Marcon, William Porter, Harald Vogel, Hans Haselböck, Jos van der Kooy, Rudolf Meyer, Bert Matter, Naji Hakim, Peter Planyavsky, Bernard Winsemius and Marie-Claire Alain.

He started teaching at some regional conventions and summer academies in Austria and Germany. In 1999/2000 he was teaching organ improvisation at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. From 2000 until 2007 he was teaching organ improvisation, organ and organ methodics at Lübeck University of music. In autumn 2005 he took the post of a professor for organ and improvisation at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. In September 2006 he left that position, to concentrate again on church music in the North of Germany. Since 2010 he is lecturer at the Faculty for Theology and Philosophy of Rostock University.

He was co-founder of the International Dieterich Buxtehude Society in 2004 (presided by Ton Koopman) and was a board member in its first years.

As organist and cantor, he worked from 1992 until 1998 for the lutheran parish of Henstedt-Ulzburg (near Hamburg). From January 1999 until September 2000 he was a freelance organist and choir director in Schleswig-Holstein state.
From October 2000 to June 2007 he was organist of the famous Arp Schnitger organ of St Pankratius Neuenfelde, Hamburg.

In July 2007 he took over the post of Director of Music and Organist of St. Marien church in Rostock (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state, Germany). With a size of 75 x 70 meters and seating capacity for 1,200 people, the church is one of the largest brickstone gothic churches in the world. St. Marien houses an organ with 114 ranks and four manuals. Its church music ministry currently consists of eight groups.

Karl-Bernhardin Kropf took prizes at nine international organ competitions in five european countries, mostly for improvisation. He received many commissions for sacred music. Recordings and concerts throughout Europe add to his work. He was invited as a member of the jury to several organ competitions, among them the Haarlem (NL) Improvisation Contest of 2006.