Olivier Latry

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Olivier Latry (born 22 February 1962) is a French organist, improviser and Professor of Organ in the Conservatoire de Paris.

Latry was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. After having begun his musical studies in Boulogne-sur-Mer, in 1978 he enrolled in the organ class under Gaston Litaize at the Academy of Saint-Maur, and took composition classes with Jean-Claude Raynaud at the Paris Academy. After becoming Professor of organ in the Catholic Institute of Paris in 1983 and subsequently at the Academy of Rheims, he succeeded Gaston Litaize at the Academy of Saint-Maur in 1990. In 1995, Latry was named professor of organ in the Academy of Paris, a post held jointly with Michel Bouvard.

In 1985, at 23 years of age, Latry was awarded the post of one of four titulaires des grands orgue of Notre-Dame, Paris alongside Yves Devernay, Philippe Lefèbvre and Jean-Pierre Leguay, following the death of Pierre Cochereau.

In addition to this role and his teaching positions, Latry carries out an active career as concert performer: he has played in over forty countries across five continents, in particular in the United States, where he made his first tour in 1986, becoming one of the most popular French organists in that country.

Latry did not want to specialize in music of a specific time period, but has gained a reputation for performing music by his contemporaries. He is renowned for his performances of the works of Olivier Messiaen and has recorded the complete organ works of Messiaen for Deutsche Grammophon. Latry is also considered to be a distinguished improviser, in the tradition of an exceptional French line that runs from Charles Tournemire through to Pierre Cochereau.

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