Germain
Desbonnet

Biography


A live performance by Germain Desbonnet of an extract from " PIANO FOR THE CATHEDRAL " the opening of " La maison de l'Eternel " from " Livre des révélations ". Duration : 2min30

Germain Desbonnet was born in 1938 in Roubaix (France), died in 2007 at St Caradec Trégomel (Morbihan) aged 68 years.

A concert-pianist from the age of 14, he was a pupil of the Masters Yvonne Varré et Pierre Sancan.

The discovery of the organ was a revelation to him, and he rapidly became a virtuoso of the " King of instruments ", the performance of the great works of Franz Liszt, becoming his primary objective. Amongst his numerous qualifications, he won the rare First Great Prize of virtuosity and improvisation, with the highest honours, awarded unanimously and with the congratulations of a prestigious jury from the class of Jean LANGLAIS at the Schola Cantorum of Paris. (1967)

This offered him enticing opportunities abroad but he refused to leave his home-country, preferring to give free reign to a brilliant career as an international concert composer that assured him a reputation envied within European organ circles, who recognised him as one of the premier organists of his generation.

Independent of his career as a concert performer, he was principally the organist at the Church of St Roch in Paris, then for the Immaculate Conception, before leaving for the Cathedral at Antibes where he founded The finest hours of the Cathedral and The Festival of sacred music which acted as an International Organ Acadamy.Seeking a more serene life in touch with nature he moved to Brittany (France) where he set up and developed the organ classes at the National Music School at Lorient from 1982 to 1998... At the same time creating 2 hectares of garden, planted entirely by hand !

A composer of inexhaustable inspiration, he has compiled an impressive catalogue of works for the organ (of which 7 are symphonies), for the piano, songs (including an opera), instrumentals and orchestral pieces. For the Bombarde (a traditional Breton instrument) he has dedicated an immense classical repertoire of written work, which he had found to be previously lacking and which championed the young virtuoso Grégory Le Lan, with whom he founded the association Revival of Bombarde and Organ.