Organist and Musicologist

A French-American organist and musicologist, Carolyn Shuster Fournier studied the piano and the violin before specializing in the organ under the direction of Dr. Gary Zwicky. Gladys Christensen, Wolfgang Rübsam, Yuko Hayashi and Mireille Lagacé (harpsichord) were also her professors. After obtaining a Bachelor of Music at Wheaton College with honors and a Master's degree at New England Conservatory in Boston. she continued her studies in Paris with Marie-Claire Alain, Michel Chapuis, André Isoir and Jean Saint-Arroman. She has also participated in the summer academies of Bernard Lagacé, Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini and Francis Chapelet and taken private courses with André Fleury. She has also studied improvisation with Thierry Escaich, Pierre Pincemaille and André Isoir. She received a Médaille d'Or and a Prix d'Excellence in Organ at the Conservatory in Rueil-Malmaison and a First Prize in Organ at the Conservatory in Boulogn-Billancourt.

She has studied musicology with Danièle Pistone, Professor at the'Université de Paris-Sorbonne and Director of the Music and Musicology Faculty, with Catherine Massip and with François Lesure, Director of the Musicology Department at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes-Etudes, at la Sorbonne, in Paris. In 1986, she obtained a master's degree in musical education, with high distinction, at the Université de Paris IV. In 1991, she was awarded a Ph.D. in Musicology at the Tours University Her thesis on Aristide Cavaillé-Coll's secular organs (in homes, theaters and concert halls) received Olivier Messiaen's warm congratulations. Her articles have appeared on both sides of the Atlantic. Her book, Un siècle de vie musicale à l'église de la Trinité à Paris, de Théodore Salomé à Olivier Messiaen, Preface by Michel Chapuis, was published in 2014 by L'Harmattan in Paris. 

She has also studied Gregorian chant with Louis-Marie Vigne, Professor at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse and President of Choeur Grégorien de Paris,ethonomusicology with Vida Chenoweth,choir direction with Donald Teeters, continuo with John Gibbons, Renaissance dance with Julia Sutton and Renaissance notation with Anne Hallmark.

Organist at the American Cathedral in Paris, in 1989, she was named titular of the Aristide Cavaillé-Coll choir organ at La Trinité Church where she founded their weekly Thursday noontime concert series.

An international concert artist, she has performed in prestigious internationa festivals and on historic organs in Europe and in the United States... Her large repertory from more than four centuries enables her to valorize each organ. She has collaborated with composers such as Thierry Blondeau, Jacques Castérède, Jacques Chailley, Jacques Charpentier, Jean-Pierre Griveau, Hervé Lacombe, Jacques Lenot, Sébastien Maigne, Jean-Dominique Pasquet, Jacques Pichard and Daniel Pinkham.

Her CDs, Alexis Chauvet on the F.-H. Clicquot/A. Cavaillé-Coll grand orgue at the Versailles Cathedral (EMA, Distribution Socadisc, 1997), Elegie, In Memoriam Marce Dupré (1886-1972) on the A. Cavaillé-Coll in Mainz and the Meriklin-Schutz in the Eglise réformée du Saint-Esprit in Paris (Schott, 2001), An American in Paris on the grandes orgues at the Madeleine Church in Paris (Ligia Digital, Distribution Harmonia Mundi, 2004) and In Memoriam Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) on the grandes orgues A. Cavaillé-Coll at the St.-Antoine-des-Quinze-Vingts Church in Paris, with the participation of the soprano Magali Léger (Ligia Digital, Distribution Harmonia Mundi, 2010), have been acclaimed by critics on both sides of the Atlantic.

Alain Duault has invited her to his television program on France 3 "All of the music they love" /"Toute la musique qu'ils aiment"./

In 2007, the French Cultural Minister awarded her the distinction of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters.


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