Grunenwald, Jean-Jacques, distinguished French organist and composer; b. Cran-Gevrier, near Annecy (of Swiss parentage), Feb. 2, 1911; d. Paris, Dec. 19, 1982. He studied organ with Dupré at the Paris Cons., receiving 1st prize in 1935. He also studied composition with Henri Busser, obtaining another 1st prize in 1937. From 1936 to 1945 he was the assistant of Dupré at St.-Sulpice in Paris, and from 1955 to 1970 he was organist at St.-Pierre-de-Montrouge. He was a prof, at the Schola Cantorum in Paris from 1958 to 1961, and from 1961 to 1966 was on the faculty of the Geneva Cons. Through the years he played more than 1,500 concerts, presenting the complete organ works of Bach and César Franck. He also became famous for the excellence of his masterly improvisations, which rivaled those of his teacher Dupré. His compositions include Fetes de la lumière for Orch. (1937), Piano Concerto (1940), Concert d’été for Piano and String Orch. (1944), lyric drama, Sardanapale, after Byron (1945-50), Ouverture pour un Drame sacre for Orch. (1954), Cantate pour le Vendredi Saint (1955), Psalm 129 (De profundis) for Chorus and Orch. (1959), Fantaisie en dialogue for Organ and Orch. (1964), Sonata for Organ (1964), and piano pieces.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire