Welcome to Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast #71!
Today's guest is world-renown French concert organist, pianist, improviser and composer Thierry Mechler.
He was born in 1962. He started piano and organ lessons in his home town of Mulhouse and then went on to Strasbourg where he studied piano with Helene Boschi and organ with Daniel Roth at the “Conservatoire National de Région”.
In 1981, he won first prize with
In 1986, he won a laureate in improvisation and a first prize for virtuosity with congratulations from the jury in the concert class from Marie-Claire Alain in Paris.
He also studied the Art of improvisation with Jacques Taddei, and won the medal of honour at the contest for composition in Mulhouse. In 1991 he was accepted in the S.A.C.E.M. as composer, also in 1991, he received the “Europäischen Förderpreis” in Dresden, as an award for his international carrier and many recordings.
From 1986 until 1989 he was organ master at the Conservatoire National
of Annecy. He is invited each year to numerous European Organ Festivals.
As a renowned teacher and juror, he is invited every year to Germany,
England, Finland, Island, USA, Korea and France to give masterclasses in
various academies. He has made many recordings of which the reference can
be found in the international catalogue.
Titular organist from the great organ of the Cathedral Primatial Saint-Jean
in Lyon from 1991 until 1999, curator and organist of the organ of the Auditorium Maurice Ravel in Lyon, an instrument previously the Cavaillé-Coll of the Trocadéro.
During 1995, Thierry Mechler was performing the entire works of J. S. Bach in a famous series of twelve recitals. In 1998, he played all the Six Vierne Symphonies. Member of the Jury of international Competitions, in 1998 Thierry Mechler became Professor for Organ and Improvisation at the University (Musikhochschule) in Köln.
Since 2002, Thierry Mechler is an organist and a curator of the
prestigious Philharmonie of Cologne (Germany).
Thierry Mechler's career has taken him worldwide - both as organist and
pianist. He has built a reputation as an exciting performer and improviser.
Celebrated also as a composer, his " 6 Métamorphoses on B.A.C.H " Opus 14 were created at the Philharmonie of Cologne in January 2009.
In 2012, he played all 48 Preludes and Fugues from The Well-Tempered
Clavier of J.S. Bach at the Bach- Festival in Schauenberg. In 2016 he participated on the 30th anniversary of the Philharmonie in Cologne, with the world premiere concert of "I-FORMATION" for two orchestras and organ solo from Vito ZURAJ, with the Gürzenich orchestra, conducting by Francois-
Xavier Roth and the Symphonic WDR orchestra conducting by Jukka-Pekka
Thierry Mechler is Knight in the French National Order of "Arts and Letters".
In this conversation, Thierry shares his insights about the beauty of Bach's Clavierubung III, his practice, improvisations and more.
Here are my notes from this conversation.
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