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Benjamin Alard (Organist)

Born in 1985, Benjamin Alard began his piano studies at the age of seven. He later studied the organ under Louis Thiry and François Menissier and harpsichord with Elisabeth Joye, developing an interest in early music that led him to the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis for further studies under Jean-Claude Zehnder (organ) and Andrea Marcon (harpsichord). His studies were distinguished by the “felicitations” of the jury when he completed the programme.

Awarded the first prize and the Audience Award, Alard won the 2004 Bruges International Harpsichord Competition, previous winners of which include Pierre Hantaï and Scott Ross. He is also a prize-winner of Declic 2005/2006, a joint Radio-France, Cultures France and Societe Generale Bank support and sponsorship programme for talented young French performers. Benjamin Alard was appointed organist at the church of St-Louis-en-l’Оle in Paris, where he performs on the new instrument made by Aubertin in 2005. In 2007, he was chosen Laureate Juventus. In September 2007, he won first prize at the Gottfried Silbermann Organ Competition in Freiberg (Germany) and the special Hildebrandt prize, awarded by the Zacharias Hildebrandt-Stiftung Naumburg.

As recitalist on both harpsichord and organ, Benjamin Alard has been invited to perform in prestigious early music festivals and venues such as Le Printemps des Arts in Nantes, La Folle Journee (Nantes and Lisbon), the Festival of Saints, Flagey Hall in Brussels, Festival Radio France in Montpellier, the Bach Festival in Schaffhausen, the Bach Festival in Lausanne, the Festival de Saint-Michel en Thierache, Les Midis du Musee du Louvre in Paris and the Bach Festival in Istanbul. He also collaborates with leading ensembles such as La Petite Bande (directed by Sigiswald Kuijken), the Capriccio Stravagante (directed by Skip Sempe) and the Venice Baroque Orchestra (directed by Andrea Marcon).

As a young and promising musician, he was chosen for the Discovery CD for Classica Repertoire Magazine, recorded in May 2005. Benjamin Alard’s CD Andreas Bach Buch, recorded in 2006 by the label Hortus Editions, was praised by the critics (Cinq de Goldberg, Crescendo magazine, Le Monde de la Musique, Diapason, Classica Repertoire and Le Monde). Transcriptions, his latest CD dedicated to transcriptions by J. S. Bach, was released in 2007 (Editions Hortus) and was awarded a Choc by Le Monde de la Musique among other accolades. His new CD Manuscrit Bauyn was released in October 2008 by Editions Hortus.

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