Organist, composer and improviser, Rachel Laurin was born in l96l, in St-Benoît, Province of 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 in Canada, the United States and Europe, and has made more than ten recordings on Motette, Musicus, Musicus/Fidelio, Analekta, SRC (Radio-Canada), Riche Lieu, and BND labels. In 2000 in Montreal, and 2001, in Ottawa, she played the Six Organ Symphonies by Louis Vierne, in three recitals. In 2002, at the inauguration of the Edmonton Winspear Center’s new Létourneau organ, she performed the Premiere of Jacques Hétu’s Concerto for Organ with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mario Bernardi. She presented this same work at the Ottawa’s National Arts Center, in 2008, and in Toronto, at the Metropolitan United Church, in the Centennial Convention of the RCCO, June 2009. She has also performed the Raymond Daveluy’s Organ Concerto, in Hamilton, at the RCCO National Convention, in 1999.
Rachel Laurin is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. She has composed more than sixty works for various instruments, instrumental ensembles and orchestra. These works have been performed and recorded in major cities in America, Europe, Asia and South Africa. Her compositions are published by Les Éditions Lucarel, Doberman, RCCO Publications (Canada), Europart (France), Hinshaw Music and Wayne Leupold Editions (USA) where she is “House Composer” since 2006. She has won many awards including the « Prix Conrad-Letendre », the Holtkamp-AGO Composition Competition 2008, and the first Prize of the Marilyn Mason New Organ Music Competition, in 2009. She is frequently invited as organist and composer in major organ festivals and, among others, was a recitalist in the AGO National Convention 2008 (St.Paul/Minneapolis, MN), and a commissioned composer for the AGO National Convention 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 well known as an improviser, and she had many opportunities to teach this art in many schools and academies: at the Montreal Conservatory, in Épinal, France, in many RCCO and AGO workshops, and in Calgary as a Faculty Member at the Mount Royal Summer Academy where she was also in charge of a composition class. In November 2009, and March 2010, she was “Distinguished Guest Artist” at Yale University (New Haven, CT), invited as a lecturer, teacher and concertist. Her recent activities as a composer include two Premieres during summer of 2011: the Concerto in D, Op.59, for Organ, String Orchestra and Timpanis, performed at the AGO Region IV Convention, in Greensboro, NC; and the Sonata for Organ and Horn, Op.60, performed at the RCCO National Convention in Hamilton, ON. Also, a complete CD devoted to her organ music, performed by virtuoso organist Isabelle Demers, was released in June 2011 on Acis label.
A feature-length program devoted to her was broadcast by American Public Media’s PIPEDREAMS in October 2012. View the detailed program/Listen