Meet the Organists
Olivier Salandini studied organ and harpsichord at the conservatory of Nice with, René Saorgin, Jean-Luc Etienne and Mireille Podeur. He completed his harpsichord studies with Bob van Asperen at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, and for the Organ at the Conservatory of Utrecht with Reitze Smits where he was awarded a “master diploma” in 2008. In the meantime he had master classes with Jean Boyer, Seibe Henstra, Bart Kuijken, and Christophe Rousset. Finally, he completed a double master degree for teaching harpsichord and organ at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris.
In 2005 he won the second prize at the international harpsichord competition of Bologna (Italy), and in 2006 he was prize winner at the international organ competitions of Lausanne (Switzerland) and Herford (Germany).
Olivier Salandini plays regularly as soloist and continuo player with several ensembles, both in France and abroad (Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, United States). He has also recorded several CDs solo organ or with ensembles.
He teaches the organ and the harpsichord at the Conservatoire à rayonnement regional of Clermont-Ferrand (France). In 2011 he was appointed organist of the Cathedral of Bourges (France) and artistic director of the festival “Les riches heures de l’Orgue en Berry”.
Visit http://oliviersalandini.com/concert.html to learn more about Olivier.
Vincent Thévenaz is professor of organ and improvisation at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva, titular organist and carilloneur of the Saint-Pierre Cathedral in Geneva. His concerts have led him to many European countries, as well as Argentina, Uruguay, Canada and India. Having benefited from a complete training (organ, piano, classical and jazz improvisation, musicology, musical theory, direction, singing, French and Russian letters), he aspires to make known and appreciated the many different facets of the organ: as a soloist, with other instruments, sometimes classical (violin, flute), sometimes quirky (Alpine horn, percussion), as well as with an ensemble. He also plays different keyboard instruments, such as harmonium, Hammond or theatre organ, and carillon. Passionate about improvisation, he devotes himself to it on the piano as much as the organ, in concert or to accompany silent films.
In 2009-2010 he interpreted Bach’s integral organ oeuvre in 14 concerts, met with a resounding success. His duo with the saxophonist Vincent Barras, entitled “W”, proposes an original repertoire immortalised in two CDs. He has recorded two CDs for the Sony label with the Gli Angeli Ensemble of Geneva (Stephan MacLeod), acclaimed by critics. He also collaborates with many ensembles and conductors (Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Ensemble Contrechamps, Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne, the Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic, Valery Gergiev, Heinz Holliger, Michel Corboz, Lawrence Foster, Antonio Pappano, etc). In 2005 he founded the Orchestre Buissonnier, an ensemble of young musicians, which he regularly conducts.
Visit http://www.thevenaz.org/ to learn more about Vincent.
Megumi Tokuoka graduated and completed her graduate studies at Tokyo University of the Art. Further studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg in the organ class of Wolfgang Zerer followed. She won first prize and the audience prize at the International Schnitger Organ Competition in Alkmaar and a second prize at the NDR International Organ Competition.
Currently Megumi Tokuoka is Organist in Residence at Toyota City Concert Hall, and she is also a lecturer at Tokyo University of the Arts and at Tokyo College of Music. She serves as an organist at Katakura Church of Christ and the International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo.
Stefan Viegelahn took his first piano and organ lessons in his hometown Schlüchtern (Germany). He then studied organ, piano, Protestant church music, school music and history at the State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart and Hamburg University of Music and Theatre.
His most infuential teachers were Martin Lücker, Bernhard Haas, Ludger Lohmann and Wolfgang Zerer (organ) as well as Hans Martin Corrinth (improvisation). He completed his studies in 2007 with honors in organ, improvisation and piano.
He received several awards and held a scholarship of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. In 2003 he was awarded the first prize in the competition for organ improvisation in Heidelberg.
Following positions as church organist in Stuttgart, Hamburg and Ahrensburg, he taught artistic organ playing and improvisation from 2007 to 2009 at the Institute of Church Music of the University of Music and Theatre Leipzig. From 2008 to 2017, he held the position of District Cantor in Landau in der Pfalz, in which he led the musical ensembles at church (Stiftskirche) and played the Rieger organ.
From 2012 to 2017 he taught organ playing at the University of Church Music in Heidelberg. In 2016, he was appointed Professor for Church Music with a focus on organ improvisation at Frankfurt am Main University of Music and Performing Arts.
Simon Harden lectures in Organ performance at the TU Dublin Conservatoire and is Organist and Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford. Regular concert engagements take him throughout Europe and further afield. He has performed solo recitals in such venues as Notre-Dame Paris, Westminster Abbey London, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall and St Jacobi Hamburg.
Simon began his studies at Trinity College Dublin reading Music and History of Art. Further studies at the Music Academies in Berlin and Hamburg led to a first-class Postgraduate degree in performance followed by a ‘Premier Prix’ for his studies in Paris. On receiving a scholarship from the City of Hamburg, he took the ‘Konzertexamen’ with distinction, the highest award for performance in Germany.
Simon has won several prizes in international competitions including 1st prize and audience prize at the ‘International Schnitger Organ Competition’ in the Netherlands and 2nd prize at the ‘Grand Prix Bach de Lausanne’. He was also awarded the DAAD prize for ‘outstanding performance and intercultural involvement’ whilst in Hamburg.
His research into new and historic organs is published regularly in the international ‘Choir and Organ’ magazine and solo CD recordings include performances on the Marcussen organ in Gettorf and the new Glatter-Götz organ in Frankfurt.
Visit http://www.simonharden.com/ to learn more about Simon.