The Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC) and La Fabrique de l’Église Saint-Jean-Bapiste have announced a new partnership whereby the CIOC will gradually assume responsibility for the cultural activities taking place at the historic church as well as the adjoining Saint-Louis Chapel. Such activities include concerts of all styles and genres, ranging from organ music to classical ensembles, orchestras, and pop artists.
In conjunction with this new partnership, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church has named Jean-Willy Kunz as its titular organist. Kunz is artistic director of the CIOC, organist-in-residence of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and professor of organ at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. He succeeds Jacques Boucher who will become titular organist emeritus after 35 years of service to the church. Boucher was a member of the 2014 CIOC jury.
Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church is home to two historic pipe organs. The principal organ in the gallery, Casavant Frères’ Opus 615 of four manuals, built in 1915 and restored in 1996, features 65 stops. The second instrument is an antiphonal choir organ of fifteen stops, also part of Casavant’s Opus 615. In addition to the main church organs, the Saint-Louis Chapel contains 1916 Casavant Opus 656 of nine stops. Since the CIOC’s founding, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church has always been featured as part of the competition as well as the CIOC Organ Festival. With this new partnership, the CIOC is looking forward to increasing the profile of these organs.
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