Jean-Paul Imbert on lessons from the great masters, playing for ski tourists and organ transcriptions
Welcome to Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast #78!
Today's guest is Jean-Paul IMBERT, organist from France. Born in Clermont-Ferrand in 1942, he studied piano and organ : at the early age of 15 he was appointed organist of the church of Sainte Jeanne d’Arc. In Paris he studied with Pierre Cochereau and Jean Guillou whose assistant he was from 1971 to 1993 in Saint-Eustache.
In 1993, he was appointed as organist on the Kleuker instrument of Notre-Dame des Neiges in Alpe d’Huez and was responsible for organizing concerts with organists from all over the world. Since 1988, he has organised workshops there with students from different countries and schools.
These workshops were developed into training courses with musicians such as Cornel Pana, who teaches Pan flute, and conductor and violonist Christian Ciuca for courses in high standards of choral singing ; operatic performers such as Jean Louis Serre and Marie-Therese Keller.
Since 1999 he has taught every year at Bad-Rippoldsau in the Black Forest.
From 1997 to 2006 he was the organist in the Basilica of Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours in Paris where he contributed largely to the reputation of this magnificent contemporary instrument by organizing a series of concerts « Organ in Duet », but also at the time of it’s official inauguration with the orchestra of the Schola Cantorum conducted by Michel Denis in September 2004. He made several recordings on that organ .
Since 1982 he taught at the Schola Cantorum, and his classes have produced a number of artists of international repute.
His concerts have seen him mostly in Europe where he intrigued the public with his innovative registration, exploring all the possibilities offered by the instruments.
He has taken part in the most renown festivals: Caen, Chartres, Radio-France, Ravenna, Torino, Cambridge, Rome, Roquevaire, Bordeaux, Moscow, Freiburg in Brisgau, Gdansk-Oliwa, Portsmouth, Lausanne. He has a strong passion for Bach, and also the romantic school, and his interpretations are always colourful and lively. He has written a number of transcriptions of works by Prokoviev, Rachmaninov, Grieg, Liszt, Verdi, and Wagner.
He has received distinctions such as "Officier des Arts et des Lettres" from the minister for Culture in 2010 and in 2014 was awarded the "Palmes Academiques" by the minister for Education.
His discography includes magnificent instruments: Saint-Eustache in Paris, Tonhalle of Zürich, Saint-Sernin in Toulouse, Saint-Etienne de Caen, Saint-Bonaventure of Lyon, Notre-Dame des neiges in Alpe d’Huez, Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours in Paris.
He has recorded not only a number of little known and rarely played works, but also transcriptions of great orchestral works, some of them written by him. For some recordings he received awards such as The Academie Charles Cros. There are also recordings of duets with the trumpeter Guy Touvron, the oboist Antoine Sebillote and the flutist Gabriel Fumet.
In this conversation Diego talks the lessons he learned from the great masters, playing organ for ski tourists and arranging organ transcriptions.
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