André Marchal (February 6, 1894 Paris – August 27, 1980 Saint-Jean-de-Luz) was a French organist and organ teacher. He was one of the great initiators of the twentieth-century organ revival in France.
Marchal was born blind. Remarkably undaunted by this handicap, he studied the organ under Eugène Gigout at the Paris Conservatoire ; and there, in 1913, he won the First Prize in organ-playing. Four years later he also won the prix d’excellence for fugue and counterpoint.
As well as giving a good many concerts, both in France and in other countries (England, Australia, the United States), Marchal taught organ at the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles in Paris, in addition to serving as titular organist of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (1915–1945) and Saint-Eustache (1945–1963). From the latter post he resigned in 1963, his departure being brought about over a conflict concerning the correct organ builder to be hired to restore Saint-Eustache’s instrument.
He was an unparalleled improviser and was recognized as such by Fauré. Among his students are many brilliant musicians such as Peter Hurford, Louis Thiry and Jean-Pierre Leguay, one of three titulaires du grand orgue of Notre-Dame de Paris.
Awards and recognition
Officer of the Légion d’honneur (1960)
Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1965)
National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity.