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Marie-Claire Alain
Birth: Aug. 10, 1926
Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Departement des Yvelines
Īle-de-France, France
Death: Feb. 26, 2013
Le Pecq
Departement des Yvelines
Īle-de-France, France

Organist. A performer and teacher who had a long and prolific career, she is remembered as perhaps her generation's foremost interpreter of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The child of a distinguished musical family, she was raised with a love of Bach, manifested her talent early, and was a professional organist from age 11 when she became her father's assistant at the Church of St. Germain-en-Laye. Her formal education delayed by the German occupation, in 1944 she was finally able to commence her studies at the Paris Conservatory where her professors included the noted composer Maurice Durufle. Madame Alain took a First Prize in the 1950 Geneva International Competition then began her touring career and soon cut the first of her roughly 300 records. Associated with the works of Bach throughout her time before the public, she also played and recorded pieces by Franz Liszt, Cesar Franck, Antonio Vivaldi, Felix Mendelssohn, and others while giving special attention to the compositions of her brother Jehan Alain (1911-1940) who was killed in combat during the German invasion of France. She was to record the first of her three complete Bach cycles in 1959, made her initial American tour in 1962, and over the years taught at the Conservatory of Rueil-Malmaison and the Paris Conservatory, in the process training most of the world's premier organists. Though continuing to both travel and teach, she took over her father's church position upon his 1971 death and remained in it until her 2010 retirement. With the fall of Communism in the early 1990s Madame Alain was able to gain access to instruments which had previously been both unrestored and unavailable, some of which had been played by the great Bach himself. In 1994 she released her final Bach cycle, an effort which followed an extensive study of the works' theological aspects. Madame Alain was designated Commander of the French Legion of Honor in 2012 and died of the effects of advanced age leaving a massive legacy including popular discs made with Maurice Andre of Bach's compositions for organ and trumpet, the full Bach cycles, and the complete organ works of Durufle and of her brother Jehan. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Albert Alain (1880 - 1971)
 
 Sibling:
  Jehan Alain (1911 - 1940)*
  Marie-Claire Alain (1926 - 2013)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Saint Germain-en-Laye Old Communal Cemetery
Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Departement des Yvelines
Īle-de-France, France
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Mar 04, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 106135851
Marie-Claire Alain
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
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