Duruflé, Maurice, eminent French organist, pedagogue, and composer; b. Louviers, Jan. 11, 1902; d. Paris, June 16, 1986. He attended the maitrise at Rouen Cathedral and received training in piano and organ. In 1919 he settled in Paris and pursued his studies in organ with Tournemire, Guilmant, and Vierne. In 1920 he entered the Cons., where he was a student of Gigout (premier prix in organ, 1922), Jean Gallon (premier prix in harmony, 1924), Caussade (premier prix in fugue, 1924), and Dukas (composition, 1928). In 1930 he became organist at the church of St. Étienne-du-Mont. He
also was a prof, at the Cons, from 1943 until 1969. In 1953 he married Marie-Madeleine Duruflé (nee Chevalier), who subsequently served as co-organist with him at St. Étienne-du-Mont. They also toured extensively as duo organ recitalists. In 1964 they made their first tour of the U.S. In 1975 Duruflé and his wife sustained severe injuries in southeastern France when their car was hit by a speeding car, and neither Durufle nor his wife ever fully recovered. He was honored with the Grand Prix for music of the departement of the Seine in 1956. While his output was not large, he made a notable contribution to the repertoire in his outstanding organ and sacred vocal works. He pursued a conservative course as a composer, producing works notable for their remarkable craftsmanship and beauty. His outstanding Requiem (1947) stands as one of the most important and performed liturgical scores of the 20th century.
ORCH Trois Dames (1932); Andante et scherzo (1940). CHAMBER: Prélude, recitatif et variations for Flute, Viola, and Piano (1928). KEYBOARD: Piano : Triptyque (1927). O r g a n : Scherzo (1926); Prélude, adagio et choral vane sur le theme du “Veni Creator” (1930); Suite (1933); Prélude et fugue sur le nom d’Alain (1942). VOCAL: Requiem for Mezzo-soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1947); Quatre Motets sur des themes gregoriens for Chorus (1960); Messe “cum jubilo” for Baritone, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1966).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire