Vierne, Louis Victor

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Blind organist and composer; b. Poitiers, France, Oct. 8, 1870; d. Paris, June 2, 1937. After training in organ under César franck, Guilmant, and widor at the Paris Conservatory, he became in 1892 assistant to Widor at Saint-Sulpice; in 1894, professor at the Conservatory; and in 1900, organist at the cathedral of Notre Dame. In 1911 he joined the faculty of the D' Indy schola cantorum, where some of his disciples were Bonnet, Boulanger, Dupré, and Duruflé. Except for a period in Switzerland (191620), he divided his time between teaching in Paris and concert tours throughout Europe and America. He was stricken at the Notre Dame organ after introducing his own Tryptique, and died immediately. His music for organ, based on the Franck chromatic harmonies and carefully structured, idiomatic, and imaginative, includes organ symphonies, a Mass for two organs, and 24 Pièces en style libre. He produced also chamber, choral, and orchestral works, and song cycles.

Bibliography: b. gavoty, Louis Vierne (Paris 1943). h. m. henderson, "Personal Memories of Louis Vierne," Diapason 45.6 (May 1954) 5. h. riemann, Musik-lexicon, ed. w. gurlitt, 3v. (12th ed. Mainz 1958) 2:1352. f. raugel, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949). x. darasse, "Louis Vierne" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 19, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 743. d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge 1996) 949. n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition (New York 1992) 19621963. r. smith, Louis Vierne: Organist of Notre Dame (Hillsdale 2000).

[c. a. carroll]