Rachel Laurin was born in l96l, in St-Benoît des Deux-Montagnes, Province of Québec, Canada. Between 1986 and 2006, she was Associate Organist at St-Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal (1986-2002), and Titular Organist at Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa (2002-2006). She now devotes herself to composition, recitals, master-classes and lectures.
She has performed organ recitals in major cities in Canada, the United States and Europe, and has made more than twelve recordings on Motette, Musicus, Musicus/Fidelio, Analekta, SRC (Radio-Canada), Riche Lieu, DJA, BND, and Raven labels. Rachel Laurin is well known as an improviser, and she has had many opportunities to teach this art in many schools including the Montreal Conservatory, the Summer School of Sacred Music in Épinal, the Summer Institute of Church Music, Whitby, ON, and in many workshops and academies in Canada and USA.
As a youngster in the South-West of France, Frédéric Blanc was already improvising on the piano and the organ, discovering music all by himself. Following his studies at the Conservatoires of Toulouse and Bordeaux he became a pupil of André Fleury in Paris and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé, of whom he became a faithful disciple. These two masters of the organ inducted him in the great tradition of French organ music.
As a prizewinner of important international competitions (Grand Prix de Chartres 2nd prize in 1996 and the Grand Prix in the International Competition of the City of Paris in 1997), he began his career as an international recitalist, improviser and teacher which took him all
over Europe and to the U.S.A. where he lectures at the most prestigious universities. He has
formed a renowned duo with the harpist Marie-Pierre Cochereau and also regularly appears
with Stéphane Vaillant, solo trumpeter of the orchestra of the Garde Républicaine (the
French Mounted Police).(View full bio)
Canadian composer and conductor Stephanie Martin is associate professor of music at York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design; director of Schola Magdalena (a women’s ensemble for chant, medieval and modern polyphony,) conductor emeritus of Pax Christi Chorale; and past director of music at the historic church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Toronto.
An accomplished composer of works for both voices and instruments, Martin’s awards include first prize in the Exultate Chamber Singers’ competition (2009), and first prize in the Association of Anglican Musicians competition (2010). She became an associate of the Canadian Music Centre in 2011, and was named composer in residence for the Barrie Music Festival in 2012.
Yves-G. Préfontaine is a graduate of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, where he studied organ and harpsichord, first with Bernard and Mireille Lagacé, and then with Scott Ross. He was awarded first prizes in each of these instruments. He continued his harpsichord studies with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam and, as a soloist and a chamber musician, has played for most organizations devoted to organ recitals. After some time working as a researcher and host for the classical music broadcasts of Radio-Canada and Radio-Cité, he founded the music department at CEGEP Marie-Victorin, and directed this department for ten years. He is titular organist at both the Grand seminaire de Montréal and the Sanctuaire Marie-Reine-des-Coeurs in Montreal. His most important achievements include a series of 12 recitals in which he played the complete keyboard works of François Couperin. As well, he has performed the complete works of Jean-Philippe Rameau and of Jean-François d’Anglebert, and the major works of Johann Jacob Froberger. Since 1995, he has been artistic director of Le Festival des Couleurs de l’Orgue français, which takes place every fall at le Grand Séminaire de Montréal. In recent years, he has been on the board of Laudem, Le Clavier d’Autrefois, and Les Amis de l’Orgue de Montréal. With a French colleague, he runs Orgues et Cimes, an organ academy organized in Switzerland every summer.
RCCO Playing Competition Jury Members
1er au 7 juillet 2017
July 1 - 7, 2017
l'AGO région du Nord-Est, le CRCO et le CIOC
RCCO, & CIOC
Thomas Annand was a student of Graham Steed, John Grew, and Marie-Claire Alain. In 1987 he won First Prize at the RCCO National Organ Compettion and since then has pursued an active career as a performer on organ, harpsichord and as conductor. He has been Director of Music at St. Andrew’s Church, Ottawa since 1992, giving over 200 recitals there including a series of weekly recitals where he performed a vast repertoire including the ten symphonies of Widor, the complete organ works of Liszt, Franck and Mendelssohn. As harpsichordist he performed all the major works of Bach in 7 marathon recitals in 2004-2005. He has performed as a soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Violons du Roy, touring with them to Carnegie Hall on three occasions. As a conductor he was the founder of Capital BrassWorks with whom he recorded for the CBC SM5000 series, and a frequent guest conductor of the Thirteen Strings. He has appeared on film (Denys Arcand’s Le Regne de la Beauté) and television. Thomas Annand is a Fellow of the RCCO and is a past-Chair of the Ottawa Centre.