Jean-Jacques Grunenwald - Nativitè (from Suite No. 1, 1937)
Jean-Jacques Grunenwald was born in 1911 in Cran-Gevrier, Haute-Savoie. He studied at the Paris Conservatory, where he received first prizes in organ (1935, class of Marcel Dupré) and composition (1937, class of Henri Busser). Two years later, Grunenwald won the prestigious Second Grand Prix de Rome for his cantata, La farce du Mari fondu. Additionally to his musical education, Grunenwald was enrolled at the École National des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he graduated in 1941 with a diploma in architecture. In 1955, Grunenwald became organist at St. Pierre-de-Montrouge in Paris.
Two years later, he began a recording of the complete organ works of J. S. Bach on 24 LPs, which he completed in 1962. This recording was made at Soissons Cathedral with its Gonzales organ. From 1957-1961, he was professor of organ at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, from 1961-1966 organ teacher at the Geneva Conservatory. Among his students were Jean-Pierre Decavèle, Raffi Ourgandijan, and Louis Robilliard. In January 1973, Jean-Jacques Grunenwald succeeded his former teacher, Marcel Dupré, as titular organist at St. Sulpice in Paris. He held this post until his death in 1982 at age 71.
As an internationally acknowledged concert organist, he played more than 1,500 recitals worldwide. His catalog of compositions contains numerous organ and piano works, chamber music, orchestral works, oratorios, as well as music written for several films, such as Monsieur Vincent (1947).
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