Olivier Latry playing for St Albans International Organ Festival

: Olivier Latry

: Olivier Latry - Credit: Archant

EMINENT French organist and teacher Olivier Latry comes to the Abbey this Saturday (12) to perform the latest in a series of recitals put on by the St Albans International Organ Festival.

The concert starts at 5.30pm and includes music by J S Bach and César Franck. Olivier also plays Charles-Marie Widor’s best known composition, the Organ Symphony no.5.

The latter is most famous for its final movement, the Toccata, which was played in Westminster Abbey for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the end of their marriage ceremony in 2011.

It is a pyrotechnical masterpiece showcasing all of the power and majesty that a grand pipe organ is capable of.

César Franck’s Cantabile and Pièce hèroïque, composed in 1878, are two of only 12 secular pieces the composer wrote for the organ. In the Cantabile, solo Trompete is heard in almost every voice and Pièce hèroïque is built as a rhapsody on two themes – one heroic and one lyrical.

Olivier studied at the Conservatoire National de Région de Saint-Maur and the Conservatoire de Paris where he is now professor of organ.

He became organist at the great organ of Meaux Cathedral at the age of 19 and then at 23 became the youngest tenured organist at Notre-Dame de Paris.

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He is a prolific concert performer having played in more than 50 countries and is particularly popular in the United States. His extensive recordings, including Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Widor, Franck, Vierne, Duruflé and Messiaen, have received critical acclaim.

Olivier will finish Saturday’s concert with an improvisation for which he is famed.

Admission to the concert is free with a retiring collection in aid of the International Organ Festival Society.

Full details of all the Concerts in the 2012-2013 series can be found at www.organfestival.com