Les Amis de l'orgue de Québec

Les Amis de l'orgue de Québec. Non-profit society founded in 1966 by organists from Quebec City under the leadership of Antoine Bouchard, with the objective of promoting the pipe organ through recitals and concerts, conferences, surveys of instruments, a newsletter, and educational activities.

Les Amis de l'orgue de Québec

Les Amis de l'orgue de Québec. Non-profit society founded in 1966 by organists from Quebec City under the leadership of Antoine Bouchard, with the objective of promoting the pipe organ through recitals and concerts, conferences, surveys of instruments, a newsletter, and educational activities. Founding members included Jean-Marie Bussières, Marius Cayouette, Claude Lagacé, Claude Lavoie, Matthias Pelletier, and Paul-Émile Talbot. Incorporated in 1972, the society's first president was Pierre Boutet (1972-85).

The five to 10 concerts presented by the society every year attempt to show to advantage the most beautiful instruments in the city, among them those of the St-Jean-Baptiste, Sts-Martyrs-Canadiens, St-Roch, Très-Saint Sacrement, and St-Ambroise de Loretteville churches, as well as the organ of the Notre-Dame de Québec basilica cathedral, the restoration of which was completed in 1985. Performers at these concerts have included famous local and foreign organists such as Marie-Claire Alain, Gaston Arel, E. Power Biggs, Antoine Bouchard, Jean-Marie Bussières, Michel Chapuis, Pierre Cochereau, Raymond Daveluy, Anton Heiller, Peter Hurford, André Isoir, Claude Lagacé, Mireille et Bernard Lagacé, Jean Langlais, Claude Lavoie, Lucienne L'Heureux-Arel, Gaston Litaize, André Marchal, Antoine Reboulot, Lionel Rogg, and Luigi Fernandino Tagliavini, as well as many organists of the younger generation. Some of the concerts have been broadcast by the CBC.

Between 1974 and 1976, Bach's complete works for organ were performed for the tricentennial of the founding of the Quebec City diocese. Organists who participated in this ambitious concert series included: Mireille Lagacé, Jacques Montgrain, Gaston Arel, Antoine Reboulot, Noëlla Genest, Sylvain Doyon, Antoine Bouchard, Monique Gendron, Lucienne L'Heureux-Arel, Robert Girard, Lucien Poirier, Raymond Daveluy, and Bernard Lagacé. In 1979, organist Louise Fortin and a men's choir conducted by Paul Cadrin performed Couperin's Messe des Paroisses. In 1981, a commissioned work by Marc Gagné entitled Cérémonial d'orgue pour la fête de la Transfiguration was premiered by Robert Girard. In 1986 a group of Quebec organists presented all of Louis Vierne's symphonies during a festival devoted to this composer. In 1990 Sylvain Caron performed César Franck's works for organ to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the composer's death. Special concerts have been presented in collaboration with various vocal or instrumental ensembles, such as the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and the CBC Quebec Chamber Orchestra. The society contributed in 1987 to the publication and concert performance of a series of works by Henri Gagnon and other Canadian composers compiled in the anthology Le Tombeau de Henri Gagnon (Ostiguy 1987).

To mark their 30th anniversary in 1997, Les Amis de l'orgue presented a concert of Saint-Saëns' Third Symphony for Organ and Orchestra and Daveluy's Concerto in E Major for Organ and Ochestra with renowened organist Raymond Daveluy and the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. Beginning in 1968, the society has published two or three times per year the newsletter Bulletin des Amis de l'orgue de Québec, the only publication entirely devoted to the world of organs and organists in Quebec. In 1978, it launched Jeux d'orgue, a structured teaching program intended for schoolchildren and several groups of adults from Quebec City and environs.

Other societies named Les Amis de l'orgue have been established elsewhere in Quebec: in Rimouski (1971), La Tuque (1980), Chicoutimi (1984), and Montreal (1990).