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Music to reach the masses
A concert pianist uses keys and chords as a way to preach the gospel.
By GAIL HOLLENBECK, Times Correspondent
Published August 18, 2007
SPRING HILL - Gregor Breier began playing as a concert pianist in the Braunschweig Symphony Orchestra in Germany at the age of 9. By his mid 20s, Breier had followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps to become the third-generation conductor of the orchestra.
His famous grandfather's large portrait hangs in the opera house in Budapest, Hungary. It was expected that the young musician would carry on with the family tradition.
But it was not to be.
Breier, 46, who will perform with his family Sunday evening at Spring Hill Baptist Church, said he began "searching for truth" at a young age. During his university studies, he met a Canadian missionary and began studying the Bible with him. At the age of 20, he says, he "received Christ."
After completing his graduate work in music and conducting the orchestra for five years, Breier attended a 1990 concert in Berlin given by the Word of Life ministry. At that point, he decided that he would use his musical talent as a platform to preach the gospel.
"He had searched, ever since he was a boy, into all kinds of Eastern religions and everything you could imagine until this missionary came along and he realized that's what he needed," said Bob Parschauer, the European representative for Word of Life, about Breier's conversion to Christianity. "When he came to our concert, he wanted to know if we could use a pianist. We told him he'd have to go to Bible college first."
By that time, Breier had married. His wife, Beate, a pharmacist, had also become a Christian during her university studies. The two decided to give up their careers to attend Bible school.
"It was an incredible thing," Parschauer said. "Both their families were against them. They sacrificed tremendously to get into the ministry."
Breier began translating into German several Word of Life musicals that had been written in the United States.
"He wrote all the songs over, and it became absolutely incredible in Germany," Parschauer said. "Thousands of people come to the things that he does every year. He and another gifted young man, Alex Lombardo, have been writing children's musicals, which have become the most popular children's program in all the German-speaking world. That's the kind of thing this guy is doing. He's reached an enormous amount of people."
Currently, Breier is making his 16th tour with Word of Life through the United States and Canada.
"Everywhere Gregor ministers, people are overwhelmed at his ability to play the piano," Parschauer said. "You will experience thunder, lightning, earthquakes and much more in the realm of music as he ministers and stirs your soul to worship our great and awesome God."
If you go
Spring Hill Baptist Church, 3140 Mariner Blvd., will host world-class concert pianist Gregor Breier and family for a concert at 6 p.m. Sunday. The evening will include piano solos, testimony by Breier, vocal solos and group singing by the family, and a short PowerPoint presentation about the Word of Life ministry in Germany. The concert is free; an offering will be taken to support Breier's work with Word of Life. Call 683-5685.