Alain, Jehan (Ariste)

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Alain, Jehan (Ariste)

Alain, Jehan (Ariste), gifted French organist and composer, brother of Marie-Claire and Olivier Alain; b. St. Germain-en-Laye, Feb. 3, 1911; d. Petits-Puis, near Saumur, June 20, 1940. He studied organ with his father and piano with Augustin Pierson; then entered the Paris Cons. (1927), where he studied composition with Dukas and Roger-Ducasse (premier prix for harmonyand fugue, 1934) and organ with Dupré (premier prix, 1939). He was organist at St. Nicolas Cathedral in Maisons-Lafitte, near Paris (1935–39). His death at 29, while leading a motorcycle patrol in the early months of World War II, was a great loss to French music. Inaddition to many works for organ and piano, he wrote choral pieces, chamber music, and songs.His works for organ have proved to be the most enduring; among the most frequently performed are Fantaisies Nos. 1 and 2 (1934, 1936) and Litanies (1937).


B. Gavoty, J. A., musicien français (1911–1940) (Paris, 1945).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire