Author Archives: Laurent Bouis

Information on the reconstruction of the great organ

Expected for many years, the reconstruction of the great organ of Chartres Cathedral began in mid-September 2022.

Owned by the State, the great organ of Chartres was at the end of its rope, and had been on a drip for years in order to maintain its religious and cultural activities.
The Association des grandes orgues de Chartres, and in particular its president Philippe Lefebvre, has been working hard for several decades to achieve this result, which is the result of an unprecedented effort by the State, which provides 75% of the financing, with the support of the local authorities (City of Chartres, Région Centre and Département d’Eure-et-Loir) and the assistance of the Chartres Sanctuary of the World Association.

Following a call for tenders launched in 2021 by the Direction des affaires culturelles du Centre, a jury composed of internationally renowned organists and qualified personalities selected the project presented by a group of three French organ builders who joined forces for this large-scale project: the Muhleisen organ builders in Strasbourg, the Atelier Chevron in Corrèze, and the harmonist Bertrand Cattiaux.

An operation in several stages:
– installation of the scaffolding,
– dismantling of the case and the organ in a few weeks,
– restoration of the organ case, classified as a historical monument, in the workshop,
– construction of the new organ in the organbuilders’ workshops,
– reassembly of the case and installation of the new instrumental part,
– harmonization of the pipes.

The project proposed by the group of companies consists of the construction of a large organ with four manuals and about fifty stops adapted to the historical case and to the acoustics of the cathedral. This project takes into account the different uses of the instrument: religious (more than 200 services per year with the organ) and cultural (concerts, international festival, summer evenings) and the Chartres International Organ Competition which has been welcoming young organists from all over the world for 50 years.

Following the proposals presented to the State by the Association des Grands Orgues de Chartres, the project aims to provide the cathedral with an instrument representative of the art of French organ building, offering musical possibilities for repertoires from different periods but also open to creation and improvisation.

The instrument will combine the age-old and proven techniques of organ building (mechanical transmission, use of traditional materials such as oak and tin) and will offer new possibilities thanks to the digital technologies that organ building has integrated for several years. Heritage and modernity: this is the challenge of this operation, which will be carried out under the supervision of the state-approved technical consultant Thierry Semenoux.

The reconstruction work began in September 2022 with the dismantling of the entire instrumental part and the restoration of the case.

The new instrument is expected to sound by the end of 2025.

Follow the progress of the work at the cathedral


Adam Tański is a graduate of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw in the organ class of Prof. Magdalena Czajka and Prof. Jarosław Wróblewski. He also graduated with honours from the Hochschule für Musik in Mainz in the organ class of Prof. Gerhard Gnann and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris in the organ class of Prof. Michel Bouvard and Prof. Olivier Latry. In 2015-2017, Adam Tański was a pedagogue at the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź; currently he lectures the art of organ playing and improvisation at the Diocesan Institute of Church Music in Łomża.

He is a laureate of a special prize at the 5th Feliks Nowowiejski International Organ Competition in Poznań (2015) and the 1st prize at the International Organ Competition “European Baroque Organs” in Katowice (2014). He was also a semi-finalist of the following international organ competitions: Mikael Tariverdiev in Kaliningrad (2013), Leoš Janaček in Brno (2012), J.S. Bach in Wiesbaden (2009).

Adam Tański was a scholarship holder of the Lions Club Warsaw NIKE (2014, 2015), French foundations Meyer and Brieux Ustarizt (2013-2015), Rector of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music (2010, 2011) and the Polish Prime Minister (2006, 2007). He gives concerts at festivals in Poland and abroad; he has performed at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, recitals and organ concerts in Germany, France and Great Britain. In 2017, he received a scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for research work on the historical organ of the Łomża Diocese, whereas in 2018 he carried out an educational project for children focused on the historical organs of the capital city as part of the artistic scholarship of the City of Warsaw.

In addition, Adam Tański is a co-founder and artistic director of the festival Etnosakralia Kurpiowskie, combining organ music with traditional and improvised music; he is also an active composer. His works have been performed in Poland and Germany and in 2018 his first monographic publication containing five pieces for keyboard instruments was released in the publishing series “Biblioteczka Kurpiowska”.


William Fielding will continue his studies with Oliver Latry and Thomas Ospital at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris from September this year.

William spent three years at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, then two years with David Graham and Kathron Sturrock at the Royal College of Music (organ and piano), was organist at the Chapel Royal of the Queen of England, Hampton Court Palace, and worked extensively as a collaborative pianist – highlights with his colleagues including a two-piano concert tour to Marbella, Spain, with concert pianist Łukasz Krupinski, and a tour of the Czech Republic with violinist Joel Munday.

William decided in 2020 to immerse himself in the French organ tradition by moving to study with Michel Bouvard (titular organist of the St Sernin Basilica) in Toulouse, and then with Yoann Tardivel, at the Toulouse Conservatoire.
William has enjoyed the opportunities offered to him in Toulouse, in particular a close collaboration with Mark Opstad and the Maîtrise of the Toulouse conservatoire, with whom he has recorded a CD including Maurice Duruflé’s requiem.

William is the choir organist at the Basilica of St Sernin, Toulouse.


Luca AKAEDA SANTESSON is a young organist born in 2001 in Milan, Italy. Interested in music from a young age, he begins his musical apprenticeship in 2009 in the organ class of Jean-François Hatton at the Conservatoire Claude Debussy, Paris.
From 2013 to 2019, Luca continues his studies at the CRR of Lyon under Lionel Avot and Yves Lafargues and gets his musical degree in organ in 2018.
In 2019, aged 17, he is admitted at the CNSMD of Lyon at the bachelors degree in the organ class of François Espinasse and Liesbeth Schlumberger; he is studying there since.

Luca has been appointed organist at St. Denis church and St. Augustin church of Lyon in 2021.

In parallel, he has studied early music with harpsichord (with Noëlle Spieth, Catherine Latzarus, Yves Rechsteiner) and Clavichord (Illton Wjunisky) for over ten years.

Luca Akaeda Santesson has had the opportunity to play in various countries, notably in Japan, and to take part in masterclasses of organists from around the world such as Hans-Ola Ericsson, Kimberley Marshall or Peter van Dijk.


After studying the piano, Alain BRUNET discovered the organ during his adolescence in the Savoy region and took his first lessons in Annecy. He continued his training in Strasbourg with André STRICKER, taking part in master-classes.

From 1988, Alain Brunet devoted himself to the harpsichord, obtaining an Honorary Prize at the CNR of Versailles, as well as a First Prize in chamber music. He completes his training with a course of musicology at the Sorbonne, culminating in a master’s degree. He continued to perfect his skills at the Conservatory of the 17th district of Paris and obtained a First Prize of the City of Paris in harpsichord and chamber music. In 1994 he obtained the State Diploma in Early Music.

His teaching activities took place initially in Dreux (harpsichord and organ classes) and since 1999 in Vernon, where he was titular of the Oury (1610) – Kern (1979) organ of the Collegiate Church between 1999 and 2007.

From 2004 to 2006 he was curator of the organ of Ivry la Bataille (27). He was a lecturer at the University of Rouen (UFR of musicology) for 2 years.

In 2014, Alain Brunet obtained the professional card of organist musician of the Paris Diocese; in 2017, he passed the Professional Examination of Professor of Artistic Teaching (organ). He is co-titular of the organ of the Saint-Eloi temple in Rouen since 2021 and participates the same year in the creation of the Bach Academy in Seine-Eure of which he is one of the 3 teachers.

He performs in concert on harpsichord and organ, as a soloist or as a continuo player for vocal and orchestral groups.


Born in Évora – Portugal, Alice ROCHA began her musical studies in 2009 at the Regional Conservatory of Évora – Eborae Musica, in the organ class of the professor and organist Rafael Reis with whom she studied until 2017.

She competed in the National Organ Competition of Ourem-Fátima, obtaining two silver medals in 2013 and 2014. In July 2016, she was selected among many candidates to participate in the Young Talents Masterclass of Haarlem, in Holland. She thus had the opportunity to study with prestigious organists, in particular with Ben Van Oosten. During her studies Alice took part in masterclasses with great organists such as António Estereiro, José Luis Uriol, Willem Jansen, Pieter van Dijk and Vincent Dubois.

She plays at the Cathedral of Évora-Portugal during important ceremonies and between 2019 and 2021 she holds the position of organist at Saint Matthew church in Strasbourg.

In 2021 she obtained her Bachelor’s degree at the Académie Supérieure de Musique de Strasbourg- HEAR under the guidance of professor and organist Johann Vexo.

During her studies in France, she has had the opportunity to play various solo concerts in Alsace and Portugal, also including concerts with the duo organ / oboe she forms since 2018 with the oboist Erika Maschke.

Alice Rocha is currently following her Master’s degree at the CNSM in Paris in the organ class of Thomas Ospital and Olivier Latry.