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Rachel Laurin

Organist and composer, Rachel Laurin was born in l96l, in St-Benoît, Province of Quebec, Canada. At the age of nine, she began piano lessons with her mother. From 1980 to 1986, she studied at the Montreal Conservatory, where she became the pupil and disciple of her principal teacher, Raymond Daveluy. Her other teachers were Gaston and Lucienne Arel (organ), Raoul Sosa (piano) and Nick Ayoub (jazz). From l986 to 2002, she was Associate Organist at St-Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal, and from 2002 to 2006, she was Titular Organist at Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa.

She has performed organ recitals in major cities in Canada, the United States and Europe, and has made more than eleven recordings, including CDs devoted to the Five Organ Sonatas by Raymond Daveluy and her own transcriptions of works by Liszt, Brahms and Bach. In 2000 in Montreal, and 2001, in Ottawa, she played the six organ Symphonies by Louis Vierne, in three recitals. In 2002, at the inauguration of the Edmonton Winspear Center’s new Létourneau organ, she played the Premiere of Jacques Hétu’s Concerto for Organ with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mario Bernardi. She presented this same work at the Ottawa’s National Arts Center, with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, in 2008, and in Toronto, at the Metropolitan United Church, in the Centennial Convention of the RCCO, June 2009. She has also performed the Raymond Daveluy’s Organ Concerto with the Hamilton National Academy Orchestra.

Rachel Laurin has been an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre since l989. She has composed more than fifty works for various solo instruments, choir, ensembles and orchestra. These works have been performed and recorded in major cities in America, Europe, Asia and South Africa. A complete CD devoted to her chamber music was released recently on ATMA label (“Festivals” ACD2 2295). Her compositions are published by Les Éditions Lucarel, Doberman, RCCO Publications (Canada), Europart (France), Hinshaw Music and Wayne Leupold Editions (USA) where she is “House Composer” since 2006. She has won many awards including the « Prix Conrad- Letendre », the Holtkamp-AGO Composition Competition 2008, and recently, the First Prize at the Marilyn Mason New Organ Music Competition 2009.

During the 2007-2008 season, she was the “travelling Clinician” for the RCCO, presenting recitals and workshops in many Canadian cities. In July 2006 and 2009, she was a Faculty Member at the Mount Royal Summer Academy in Calgary, with Simon Preston, Michael Radulescu, David Higgs and Neil Cockburn, teaching interpretation, improvisation and composition. In November 2009, she will be received as the “Distinguished Guest Artist” at Yale University, New Haven (CT), presenting concert, lecture, and giving lessons to advanced students.

Her new Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op.46, is going to be Premiered, fall 2010 . She is now working on a commission by the AGO-2010, a work for harp and organ, to be Premiered in the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists, in Washington, D.C.,July 2010, and on her second Organ Symphony (Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY).

Rachel Laurin, August 2009

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Canadian Music Centre