Visiting Professor of Organ for Spring 2013Department:
One of today’s leading French concert organists, Michel Bouvard enjoys a multi-faceted career as a concert artist and master teacher which has taken him to more than twenty countries. He was born in Lyon, France, and was inspired with a great passion for music early in life by his grandfather, Jean Bouvard, also an organist and composer, who had been a student of Louis Vierne, Florent Schmitt, and Vincent d’Indy. He began piano study at an early age in Rodez, and following organ studies with Suzanne Chaise-Martin in Paris, he was accepted into the organ class of André Isoir at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris (The Paris Conservatory). He later perfected his studies with Michel Chapuis, Francis Chapelet, and Jean Boyer while serving as deputy organist at Saint-Séverin Church, where he eventually served as Titular Organist for more than ten years.
In 1983 M. Bouvard obtained the premier prize at the international organ competition in Toulouse, which is dedicated to French music of the 17th and 18th centuries. He later succeeded Xavier Darasse as Professor of Organ at the Conservatoire National de Région de Toulouse in 1985 where he continued Darasse’s efforts in fostering the patronage of the city and the region by organizing concerts, special visitors, master classes, and the international organ competition with his colleague Jan Willem Jansen. This work culminated in the creation of the renowned Festival “Toulouse Les Orgues” for which he served as Director for four years, and the development of a new organ class at the Centre d’Études Supérieurs de Musique et de Danse de Toulouse, founded by Marc Beluse.
In addition to his performing and teaching, Michel Bouvard is frequently an adjudicator for the world’s most prestigious organ competitions. He has also served for four years as a member of the “Commission Supérieure des Monuments Historiques” (the Culture Ministry) of France.
Currently Michel Bouvard serves as Professor of Organ at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris (since 1995), where he teaches with his friend and colleague, Olivier Latry. He is also Organist Titulaire of the historic Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Basilique Saint-Sernin in Toulouse (since 1996), and is one of the four organists of the Royal Chapel at the Palace of Versailles (since 2010).