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Olivier Vernet (Organist)

Born: Vichy, France

The French organist, Olivier Vernet, study of the organ included work with Gaston Litaize at the French National Regional Conservatory in St. Maur des Fossés where he earned five Gold Medals and the Concert Diploma with honors. He studied with Marie-Claire Alain at the French National Regional Conservatory in Rueil Malmaison where he was awarded the First Prize for Virtuosity from a unanimous jury. He also won first Prize in Organ at the Paris Conservatory in the class of Michel Chapuis. He was unanimously awarded First Prize at the U.F.A.M. International competition in Paris in 1984, and in 1991 was the First Prize winner at the International Organ Competition in Bordeaux.

Olivier Vernet served for 15 years Co-Titular Organist of the Church of St. Louis in Vichey with its famous Bernard Aubertin organ. He was selected, by international competition, as successor to René Saorgin as titular organist at the Cathedral of Monaco, as of January 2006.

Olivier Vernet maintains an international career as soloist and concert artist. Within the span of 15 years he has given more than 500 performances: in Paris (Notre-Dame, La Madeleine, St-Etienne-du-Mont and Radio France amongst others) and throughout France, as well as Germany, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, USA and Japan. He is often invited to perform at the most prestigious organ and music festivals: Ambronnay, Angers, Auvers-sur-Oise, Besançon, Chartres, Vieux-Lyon, Masevaux, Poitiers (Collavoce ), International Festival of Roque-d'Anthéron, Roquevaire, Soultz, Strasbourg, Touraine Festival, Florilège Vocal of Tours, Uzès, Vézère, International Festival of Stressa and Padua (Italy) and Bachwoche Ansbach, Germany.

In Nantes, one day in January 2000, as part of La Folle Journée Bach festivalOlivier Vernet gave several recitals on an organ specially installed for the occasion in the Great Hall of the Nantes Convention Center, along side of some of the most prominent European soloists and ensembles. One of the recitals was televised. He often takes the stage with a variety of orchestras and ensembles such as the Ensemble Jacques Moderne (Director: Joël Suhubiette), Matheus Ensemble, Lachrimae Consort, Auvergne Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Lyon, Les Sauvages and the Simphonie du Marais. In 2004 he founded the Ensemble "In Ore Mel", a phrase borrowed from a Schütz motet which means "honey to the mouth". This alludes to the communion between Word and Music. The ensemble explores the vast repertoire of 17th and 18thcentury vocal and instrumental works of France and Germany.

Olivier Vernet has recorded 67 CD's including the complete organ works of J.S. Bach, Nicolaus Bruhns, Dietrich Buxtehude, L.-N. Clérambault, François Couperin, Johann Nicolaus Hanff, Andreas Kneller, Mozart, Franz Liszt; the complete concertos for organ and orchestra of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Michel Corrette and Haydn; and, a world premier organ recording of the 2,3 and 4 keyboard concertos by J.S. Bach where he is joined by Marie-Claire Alain. Many of these CD's have received distinguished awards including: the Diapason d'Or (13); the Choc du Monde de la Musique (23); and, ffff from Télérama (17). Other awards include several 10 de RépertoireJoker from Crescendo, and Recommandé by Classica. Four of the most sought-after honors have been bestowed on Vernet by the French language musical press: Le Grand Prix de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque for the complete works of Buxtehude, the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros, the Grand Prix de l'Académie des Beaux-Arts, and the 2000 Diapason d'Or for his complete works of Bach.

Olivier Vernet is organ professor at the Tours Conservatory and at the Academy of Music Rainier III of Monaco. He is also artistic director of the Monaco International Organ Festival, and of the Organ Festival of Mougins.

"Olivier Vernet is a formidable performer...always accurate, musical, and satisfying." (The American Organist)
"Vernet's playing is quite exciting and well-schooled...excellent articulation, registration, tempi, and ornamentation, and technique to spare." (Continuo)
"An unrivalled organist of dazzling virtuosity...Olivier Vernet makes the organ dance." (La Marseillaise, France)
"Vernet's vision left us overwhelmed by so much strength and energy, but also such tenderness. Vernet brings together the ardor of youth with wise maturity." (Classica, France)
"He can approach any repertoire period with the same elegance and fluidity." (Le Monde de la Musique, France)

 





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