Organist, composer and improviser, Rachel Laurin was born in 1961, in St-Benoît, Quebec, Canada. After her studies at the Montreal Conservatory, she became Associate Organist at St-Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal (1986-2002), and from 2002 to 2006, she was Titular Organist at Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa. She now devotes herself to composition, recitals, master classes and lectures.
She has performed organ recitals in major cities throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, and has recorded more than twelve albums as soloist and with ensembles on Motette, Musicus, Musicus/Fidelio, Analekta, SRC (Radio-Canada), Riche Lieu, DJA, BND, and Raven labels.
In 2002, at the inauguration of the Edmonton Winspear Centre’s new Létourneau organ, she performed the Premiere of Jacques Hétu’s Organ Concerto with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mario Bernardi. She presented this same work at the Ottawa National Arts Center in 2008, and in Toronto, at the Metropolitan United Church, during the Centennial Convention of the RCCO in June, 2009. She also performed Raymond Daveluy’s Organ Concerto at the RCCO National Convention in Hamilton in 1999.
Rachel Laurin has been an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre since 1989. She has composed more than a hundred works for solo instruments, voice, instrumental ensembles and orchestra. These works have been performed and recorded in major cities throughout the world. Four complete CDs are devoted to some of her organ compositions and chamber music, on labels ATMA, Acis and Raven. Her compositions are published by Doberman, RCCO Music Publications (Canada), Europart (France), Hinshaw Music (Fred Bock) and Wayne Leupold Editions (USA) where she has been “House Composer” since 2006. She has won many awards, including the “Prix Conrad-Letendre”, the Holtkamp-AGO Composition Award in 2008, and first prize in the Marilyn Mason New Organ Music Competition in 2009.
She is frequently invited to major organ festivals as organist and composer and was a recitalist at the AGO National Convention in 2008 (St.Paul/Minneapolis, MN), and a commissioned composer for the AGO National Convention in 2010, in Washington, D.C. She also presented the opening gala recital of the RCCO Centenary National Convention in Toronto in 2009. Rachel Laurin is also well known as an improviser, and has had many opportunities to teach this art in many schools and academies in France, Canada and United States. As a “Distinguished Guest Artist,” she has performed recitals, conducted workshops, lectured and taught at many Canadian and American universities, including Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut), Baylor University (Waco, Texas), Syracuse University (New York, NY), Kansas City University (Missouri), St. Thomas University (Minneapolis, Minnesota), University of St. Lawrence (Canton, NY), Mount Royal College (Calgary, AB), and University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB).
A feature-length program devoted to her work as a composer and organist, titled “Rachel’s Children”, was broadcast by American Public Media’s PIPEDREAMS presented by Michael Barone, in October 2012. Rachel Laurin has been a member of the “Comité d’Honneur de la Fédération Francophone des Amis de l’Orgue” (FFAO) since 2016.
For more information visit www.rachellaurin.com