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About Organ Duet

About Organ Duet

Olivier Vernet’s outstanding career has confirmed the hopes raised by the numerous awards he received over the course of his studies with Gaston Litaize at the Conservatoire National de Région in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, Marie-Claire Alain at the Conservatoire National de Région in Rueil Malmaison, and Michel Chapuis in the class where he won first prize for organ at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. After unanimously being given the First Prize with honours at the international competition arranged by the U.F.A.M. in Paris in 1984, he won First Prize in 1991 at the International Organ Competition in Bordeaux. He has also received awards from the foundations of Aram Khachaturian, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet pour la Vocation, Marcelle and Robert de Lacour, and the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. Renowned as one of the most brilliant representatives of the French school of organ music, he is enjoying an international career and being invited to perform at the most prestigious festivals. To date, Olivier Vernet has recorded 100 CDs, which have received distinguished awards including: the Diapason d’Or; the Choc du Monde de la Musique; and ffff from Télérama. Other awards include several 10 de Répertoire, Joker from Crescendo, and Recommandé by Classica. Four of the most sought-after honors have been bestowed on Mr. Vernet by the French language musical press: Le Grand Prix de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque for the complete works of Buxtehude, the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros, the Grand Prix de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts, the 2000 Diapason d’Or for his complete works of Bach and the 2016 Choc Classica for his recording of Bruhns, Hanff and Kneller complete organ works. Olivier Vernet is the titular organist of the Cathedral of Monaco. As such, he played at the grand organ for the princely wedding in 2011. He teaches at the Académie de Musique Prince Rainier III in Monaco and at the Conservatoire National à Rayonnement Régional de Musique in Nice. He is the Artistic Director for the Monaco International Organ Festival and the Mougins Organ Festival. Olivier Vernet is Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Holder of a doctorate in Medicine (MD) and a doctorate in Neurosciences (PhD), Cédric Meckler was a medical officer, holding the rank of colonel, at the Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées. After completing a thesis in Medicine at Claude Bernard University in Lyon, dedicated to Robert Schumann’s mental disease, he defended another thesis in Neurosciences at the C.N.R.S. in Marseille, focused on the study of cerebral activity related to control of motor activities, particularly during music performance. Researcher and Hypnotherapist in the Army until 2017, he is now using his research and publications, on one hand, to offer, in the light of current neuroscience, a new reading grid of reference methods devoted to piano technique (Orgues Nouvelles), on the other hand, to direct his practice of hypnosis towards artistic help, especially for the preparation for the stage. He developed an early passion for the four-hand repertoire, which he regularly played with great diligence (piano duet and pianos duo).

Vernet-Meckler Organ Duet has formed when Olivier Vernet wished to explore four-hand pieces for organ in their authentic versions, as well as transcriptions. This  swiftly took shape and the subsequent recordings received high acclaim by critics : Mozart’s complete organ works (awarded Choc du Monde de la Musique), Mendelssohn’s complete organ works (Diapason d’Or, 4étoiles Monde de la Musique, 5/5Hifi-Video, Maestro Pianiste, CD of the year Audiophile Mélomane, “essential recording” according to Diapason for Mendelssohn bicentenary issue), a recital album in the cathedral of Tulle including a piece composed especially for their organ duet by Julien Bret (Excellent disque Classica, 5/5Hifi-Video, 4étoiles Monde de la Musique), a Haydn programme including the recently discovered four-hand Partita and the last Flötenuhr-Stücke (4étoiles Monde de la Musique, La Clef ResMusica.com ), and Gade’s complete organ works (5diapasons, excellent disque Classica), the Carl Reinecke’s four-hand transcription of the Ciaccona as a bonus track in the republished Bach’s complete solo organ works by Olivier Vernet, a programme around Hispanic dances entitled “Pasión” (Ravel, Albeniz, De Falla, Piazzolla and Cholley) including transcriptions by the composers themselves and Tango furioso composed especially for their organ duet by Pierre Cholley (CD of the year 2011 Orgelnieuws), four-hand extracts from Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes on Jean-André Silberman organ of Soultz, the Brahms’ piano concertos in a world premiere transcription for eight hands with piano duet (« 6/6 PianoNews »), pieces which are especially written for organ duet on Cavaillé-Coll organ in Lunel (Excellent disque Classica, Disque presqu’idéal Musikzen) and on Merklin organ in Commentry, a programme “BACH(s)” around the Bach dynasty, including numerous world premieres. These recordings are broadcasted in Europe and USA (France Musique, Europe 1, France Inter, Radio Classique, RCF, RTBF, RAI, American Public Media,…). In addition to its concert activity (Festival du Comminges, International Organ Festival of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Belfort Organ Festival, Festival du Printemps des Orgues in Angers, International Organ Festival of Saint-Louis-des-français à Rome, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Salle Philharmonique in Liège, Auditorium Maurice Ravel in Lyon, International Organ Festival of Andorre, International Organ Festival of Poblet, Avignon Festival, Philharmonie de Paris…), Vernet-Meckler Organ Duet devotes a large part of its activity to searching and developing organ duet repertoire. Olivier Vernet and Cédric Meckler collect old scores, often unpublished or stored as manuscripts, and some composers have dedicated pieces especially for them (Julien Bret, Pierre Cholley, Rafihavana Ratovondrahety, Tal Zilber, Philip Robert Buttal, John Carmichael, Charles Balayer, Narcís Bonet, Hervé Lesvenan, Gunnar Idenstam…)

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