Guillaume-Antoine Calvière

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Guillaume-Antoine Calvière
Organist, Cathedral of Notre Dame
In office
Preceded byMédéric Corneille
Succeeded byArmand-Louis Couperin
Personal details

Guillaume-Antoine Calvière (1695 - 18 April 1755) was a virtuoso French musician and composer who was for many years organist of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.

Early years[edit]

Guillaume-Antoine Calvière was born in Paris around 1695, the son of Rodolphe Calvière and Jeanne Boundin.[1] He was a pupil of Philippe Isoré de La Fontaine, who spent his whole career until his death in 1733 as organist of Saint-Denis. Calvière was gifted and precocious, and made his first public performance at the age of eleven. Calvière's younger sister Cécile Louise Calvière, born in 1703, was also an organist.[1]


Calvière became organist of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in 1722, and in 1730 succeeded Maderic Corneille as organist at Notre Dame.[1] He became a national celebrity, and the Mercure published verses in his praise. He held the prestigious posts of organist of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris from 1730 until his death 1755, and of the Royal Chapel from 1738.[2] Calvière was appointed organist of Sainte-Chapelle in succession to Pierre Février, holding this position from 1739 until his death.[3] He was also organist at Sainte-Marguerite. For six months in 1754 he trained Jean-Baptiste Nôtre, who then became organist of the Toul Cathedral for more than half a century.


Calvière was an admirer of François Couperin. His work included motets and pieces for organ.[citation needed] His Te Deum mimicked the sounds of wind and thunder.[4] But apart from a short piece preserved in the library of the Brussels Conservatory, almost nothing has survived. After his death his widow gave his manuscripts to Louis-Claude Daquin for editing and publication. Daquin, his friend, colleague and also rival, neglected to do so. In fairness, Daquin failed to publish many of his own works.


  • IMSLP Pièce en trio for organ.




  • Johnson, James H. (1996-10-01). Listening in Paris: A Cultural History. University of California Press. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-520-20648-9. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  • McManners, John (1999). Church and Society in 18th Century France: The Clerical Establishment and Its Social Ramifications. Oxford University Press. p. 461. ISBN 978-0-19-827003-4. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  • Weber, Edith; Guillot, Pierre; Jambou, Louis (1997). Histoire, humanisme et hymnologie: mélanges offerts au professeur Edith Weber. Presses Paris Sorbonne. p. 89. ISBN 978-2-84050-065-0. Retrieved 2012-11-25.