Guilmant, (Félix) Alexandre

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Guilmant, (Félix) Alexandre

Guilmant, (Félix) Alexandre, eminent French organist and composer; b. Boulogne, March 12, 1837; d. Meudon, near Paris, March 29, 1911. He studied organ with his father, Jean-Baptiste Guilmant (1793-1890), and took harmony lessons with Gustave Carulli in Boulogne. In 1860 he took an advanced course in organ playing with Lemmens in Brussels. He then played organ in various churches in Paris, including St.-Sulpice (1862) and Notre Dame (1868); in 1871 he was appointed organist of Ste. Trinité, remaining at this post for 30 years. He was one of the founders of the Schola Cantorum (1894). In 1896 he was appointed prof. of organ at the Paris Cons.; also appeared as organ soloist with Paris orchs. And subsequently all over Europe and in the U.S. (1893-97). He was not only a virtuoso of the 1st rank, but a master in the art of improvisation. He formed a great school of students, among whom were Rene Vierne, Joseph Bonnet, Nadia Boulanger, Marcel Dupre, and the American organist William Carl. He was a prolific composer of works for organ, which include 8 sonatas, 2 syms. for Organ and Orch., 25 books of organ pieces, and 10 books of L’Organiste liturgiste; he also wrote Psalms, vespers, motets, etc. He ed. Archives des maitres de I’orgue (10 vols., Paris, 1898-1914) and École classicjue de I’orgue (1898-1903).


À la mémoire de A. G. (by his friends of the Schola; Paris, 1911); F. Sabatier, Pour une approche d’A. G. (Paris, 1986).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Guilmant, (Félix) Alexandre

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