Welcome to Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast #43!
Today's guest is Prof. Guy Bovet from Switzerland who is appreciated in the musical world as a many-sided, original and cultivated artist, active in many fields. He is constantly on the road travelling to all parts of the world where organs are played, and keeps a busy
His discography of more than 50 records and CD’s includes recordings made mostly on historical instruments of Switzerland, France, Spain, Latin America and lately also in Japan and in the Philippines. Several of these recordings have been distinguished with prizes like the French « Laser d’or » or the German « Grammi » award.
His activities in the preservation of historical instruments are appreciated all over the world and he has advised organ builders and restorers in Europe, Japan and both Americas, as well as in the Republic of the Philippines.
With his wife, Marisa, he has revived the organ of the Alain family, for which Jehan Alain composed most of his music. This instrument is now restored and re-installed in one of the former convent buildings of the beautiful Clunysian site and village of Romainmôtier, Switzerland, where yearly organ academies are held under his direction.
As a composer, he has worked much for theatre and films, but his catalogue of over 250 opus numbers includes all kinds of music. Much of his organ music has been published by various companies (Oxford University, Schola Cantorum, Eulenburg).
He has published works for four organs by composers from the Einsiedeln Abbey (Doblinger) and the complete organ work by Spanish composer José Lidón (Schola Cantorum). His long-awaited new edition of Francisco Correa de Arauxo’s Facultad organica (1626), with translation and explanation of the treatise in French, German, English and Japanese, has been published in 2007 by « Ut Orpheus » in Bologna.
A scholar and investigator, he has also published over 2000 various articles in musical journals on matters related to the organ. He is chief editor of the Swiss organ periodical "La Tribune de l’Orgue". A specialist of Hispanic organ music, he has carried out a survey of historical organs in Mexico and Brasil, in cooperation with UNESCO and the Swiss cultural foundation PRO HELVETIA. During twenty years, he has taught courses for interpretation of Spanish organ music at the University of Salamanca. He is giving numerous masterclasses on this and other subjects in many festivals, universities and academies all over the world. He functions as a juror in major international organ competitions.
Guy Bovet has been Professor of Organ at the Musikhochschule in Basel, Switzerland, from which he has retired in July 2008, and organist of the Collegiate Church of Neuchâtel from 1988 to 2009. He is honorary citizen of the City of Dallas, Texas, and doctor honoris causa of the University of Neuchâtel. He has been honoured twice by the Japanese government for his activities as a teacher, and by the government of the Philippines for his activities in favour of the preservation of historical organs and the education of young Filipino organists. He has been awarded in 2007 the prestigious Prize of the Institut Neuchâtelois.
In this conversation, Prof. Bovet shares his insights about the future of the organ art in the world.
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