Nunc Dimittis

January 16, 2003

Marie-Madeleine Chevalier-Duruflé died on October 5 in Paris, France, at the age of 78. Internationally known recitalist and teacher, she was the widow of Maurice Duruflé, who died in 1986. Mrs. Duruflé was considered the last great exponent of the French Romantic school of organ playing and gave noteworthy performances of works by Widor, Vierne, Langlais, Dupré, and her husband. She was born in Marseilles on May 8, 1921, and showed musical talent early. At age 11 she was named an organist of the Cathedral of St. Véran de Cavaillon, and at 12 entered the Conservatory at Avignon. Her studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. In 1946, at age 25, she became a pupil of Dupré at the Paris Conservatory, where she won first prize in organ. In 1953 she was awarded the Grand Prix International Charles-Marie Widor for organ and improvisation. She met her future husband at the conservatory when he was substitute teacher for one year for Dupré, and they were married in 1953. Mrs. Duruflé became co-organist with her husband at St. Étienne-du-Mont in Paris, a post he had held himself since 1930. They gave joint concert tours frequently, with their first tour to the United States in 1964. In 1975 they were involved in a serious auto accident. Mrs. Durufle suffered severe pelvic and rib injuries and both of her husband’s legs were broken. Years of surgery and therapy followed, but neither ever completely recovered. In 1989, three years after her husband’s death, not having concertized for 15 years, Mrs. Duruflé agreed to participate in a Duruflé Festival in New York, organized by former student Dennis Keene, organist, conductor and artistic director of the Voices of Ascension. Her last public concert was in New York at the Church of the Ascension in 1993.

 

 

Vivien Johnson Fauquet died on October 17, 1999, in Fort Myers, Florida, at the age of 88. Mrs. Fauquet attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and completed her studies at Sioux Falls College in South Dakota, earning the BMus degree. For many years she had a studio of voice and piano, while also holding church positions as organist and soprano soloist. She and her family moved to Ft. Myers in 1961 where she served several local churches as organist and supply organist. Among her many musical endeavors, she helped to found the Ft. Myers Symphony Orchestra and worked to promote Community Concerts. She studied organ at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church with Ralph Tilden, who had been a student of André Marchal, and she played many recitals on St. Luke’s concert series. Mrs. Fauquet was an active member of the Ft. Myers AGO chapter (renamed the Southwest Florida chapter in 1988), serving as Dean from 1966–68 and holding every office at one time or another. A memorial service was held at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Ft. Myers.

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