The Great Organ Cavaillé-Coll


Memory plate

On June, 25, 2017, a memory plate of Jacques Taddei was unveiled near around the door of the organ loft, alongside those of Franck, Tournemire and Langlais.


The masters of Sainte Clotilde and their sources of inspiration
Franck, Pierné, Tournemire, Duruflé, Langlais, but also Bach, Buxtehude….
For the third consecutive year, the organist of the Basilica, Olivier PENIN, offers a course on the famous organ of the Basilica on which Franck was the first ‘organiste titulaire’. Besides the course, students and listeners will be invited for a guided tour of the instrument.
July, 10 to 12, 2017 at the Basilica Sainte Clotilde (Paris VII). More information.

New video of Olivier Penin

A new video of Olivier Penin is published on YouTube: J.S. Bach (1685-1750) Sinfonia Cantata BWV 29 transcription Marcel Dupré (1886-1971).
See also this website for all recordings of Olivier Penin on the organ of Ste Clotilde.

Start of the season 2016-2017

On September, 17, 2016 at 5PM the Saturday-afternoon-concerts will be resumed. Olivier Penin invites you for a concert titled 'Bach in Paris': admiration, inspirations et transcriptions - numerous links exists between Parisian organists et composers and the Cantor. 
During this concert, you will hear works of Bach, but also of Lully, Couperin, Boëly, Franck and a few surprises .... This concert starts the fourth season of Saturday-concerts at Sainte Clotilde.

César Franck organ competition in the Netherlands

The 15th International César Franck organ competition will be held from 16 to 20 may 2017 in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Bavo in Haarlem (Netherlands). The competitors will play on the Willibrordus-organ (Adema 1923-1978, four manuals, 81 stops). The jury consists of Michel Bouvard (Toulouse), Olivier Penin (Paris) and Hayo Boerema (Rotterdam). Participation is open for organists who obtained a bachelor degree or comparable level of education at a conservatory or music college. The theme of the competition is César Franck & Camille Saint-Saëns.
Three prizes will be awarded (€ 2.000, € 1,550 and € 1,050) and an Audience prize of € 500. Finalists will be invited to give a recital in the Saturday afternoon concert series in St.-Bavo’s Cathedral and Basilica. The winner of the first prize will also be invited to play a recital in the Sainte Clotilde in Paris on the organ of César Franck himself.
More information

Hommage à Jean Langlais

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the death of Jean Langlais on May 8, 1991, the organist of the Basilica Sainte Clotilde (Paris VII), Olivier PENIN, will play some pieces of this famous organist and composer during high mass on Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 11 AM. On the organ of the master himself, he will playf excerpts from his Suite Médiévale. This piece, in the form of a 'messe basse', composed in 1947, is one of his most famous and most characteristic works. Combining the Gregorian themes during the key moments of the Roman Catholic mass, it alternates the different soundscapes: the solemnity of the Entry, the serenity of the Offertory, the prayer of the Elevation, the worship of the Communion and finally the jubilation in honour of the victorious Christ of the Sortie on the theme of Christus vincit.
Born in 1907 in Bretagne, Jean Langlais (pupil of Marcel Dupré, Paul Dukas and Charles Tournemire) pursues a brilliant career as soloist (including 300 recitals in the United States) and composer (known especially for his works for organ and his religious vocal works). He taught 15 years at the Schola Cantorum in Paris and he held for 42 years the tribune of Sainte-Clothilde, the organ of Franck and Tournemire.

World premiere

On YouTube, a new composition by Stéphane Delplace was published today (1-5-2016): ‘Aria’, a work for organ played by Olivier Penin, ‘organist itulaire’ of the Basilica Ste Clotilde Paris VII. This piece is the version for organ of the Delplace’s ‘Lux Æterna’ for choir and organ which can be heard on the Album ‘Hommage à César Franck’

Release of the album « Hommage à César Franck »

On March, 15th at 8:30 PM, a new CD will be presented recorded on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the death of César Franck. The disc brings together the most famous pieces for organ and choir of César Franck recorded at the place of their composition: the Basilica of Ste Clotilde in Paris.
In this album, the listener can hear the 3 chorals for organ and some major choir works including the famous psalm 150 motet. In addition, the tribute includes two works of Stéphane Delplace for organ and choir (Lux aeterna and Tenebrae factae sunt).
The performers are Ensemble Basilica, a young Professional choir founded by Marc Korovitch (direction) and Olivier Penin (organist of the great organ of the Ste Clotilde).
The concert will include works recorded on the CD. After the concert, the CD will be available for sale, signed by the artists at request.

CD Digipack, date de sortie 04/03/2016
Label : Bayard Musique
For sale : Basilique sainte clotilde:
Distributeur : 684HMDHARMONIA MUNDI
EAN : 3560530847225
(Release date March, 3rd, 2016)


A tribute to César Franck

Exceptional concert on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the death of César Franck.
On Sunday, November 8 (the day of the 125th anniversary of the death of César Franck), 16 h, the organiste titulaire of the Basilica Sainte Clotilde (Paris VII), Olivier PENIN, will give an exceptional concert. He will play on the organ of the master himself the famous three chorales, that Franck wrote in the summer 1890, a few weeks before his death.
César Franck was born December 10, 1822 in Liège and died on 8 November 1890 in Paris He was teacher, organist and composer. He is often called the father of symphonic organ music and he was one of the great figures of French musical life of the second part of the 19th century. He was the first organist of the new Sainte-Clotilde Basilica where he inaugurated one of the most beautiful instruments made by Cavaillé-Coll on December 19, 1859, an instrument on which he played until his death.

New series of organ recitals

From September, 19, 2015 onwards, a new series of organ recitals will be organized each second Saturday of the month, 5 PM.


Monday, July, 6yh - Wednesday, July, 8th, 2015
Interpretation & Improvisation,
by Olivier Penin, Organiste titulaire Ste Clotilde,
and Nicolas Pichon, Organiste titulaire St Martin d'Esquermes à Lille and Organiste Suppléant Ste Cloltilde
Possibility being participant or listener.
In French and/or English.
More information


New series of organ recitals

From October, 11, 2014 onwards, a new series of organ recitals will be organized each second Saturday of the month, 5 PM.


Monday, June, 30th - Wednesday, July, 2nd
Répertoire & Improvisation,
by Olivier PENIN, Organiste titulaire Ste Clotilde,
and Nicolas PICHON, Organiste titulaire St Martin d'Esquermes à Lille.
Possibility being participant or auditor.
More infomation.

four stars for CD Olivier Penin

**** in the "choir and organ magazine" of May/June 2014: "As he recently appointed titular organist of the famous church of Sainte-Clotilde, Olivier Penin certainly has a rich heritage to draw on for this homage, with the remarkable lineage of Franck, Pierne, Tournemire, Durufle (temporarily), Bonnal, Langlais, and Pierre Cogan. Despite the attempts of the 2003 rebuild to restore the sounds of the original Cavaille Coll, the 'authentic' tonal palette of Cesar Franck is largely lost. However, Penin wants to encourage us to feel that the organ evolved along with the compositions of Tournemire and Langlais. For me, therefore, the20th century pieces are the most interesting and are recorded with lipid clarity, and played expertly." (Rupert Gough)
More information on this CD


New: series of organ recitals

From October, 12, 2013, a new series of auditions d'orgue (organ recitals) will start at Ste.Clotilde. Every second Saturday of each month (october-june), there will be a recital at 5 PM on the famous Cavaillé-Coll organ, directed artistically by Olivier Penin, hte organiste titulaire. Since it was built, this organ was the home of some famous French organists-composers: César Franck, Charles Tournemire, Jean Langlais. The organ was restored and enlarged in 2005 and is now one of the biggest and best organs of the French capital. The presence of a mobile console makes it possible for listeners to see the organist playing. The series is opened by the master of the art of improvisation, Pierre Pincemaille, organiste-titulaire of the e la cathedral of St. Denis, who (of course) will give a concert entirely devoted to the art of improvisation. Entrance is free.

New: CD 'Hommage aux maîtres de Ste.Clotilde'

On September 28, 2013, 20h30, Olivier Penin, the organist titulaire of the basilica Ste.Clotilde in Paris, will present his new CD, a tribute to his famous predecessors, among which Cesar Franck, Charles Tournemire and Jean Langlais.
The organ of Ste.Clotilde was built in 1853-1859 by the famous organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and modified and enlarged several times. In 2005, the organ builder Dargassies reconstructed the original symphonic character of the instrument, while keeping some of the neo-symphonic additions of 1932 and 1962 and adding another 10 stops, resulting in an instrument of 71 stops.
The new CD, released by Festivo, is the first demonstrating this fine instrument after the restoration. It features works by Franck, Pierné, Ermend Bonnal, Tournemire, Duruflé, Langlais and Cogen.
The presentation-concert by Olivier Penin will include some works recorded on the CD (Franck, Pierné, Tournemire, Langlais), some other well-known organ works, among which the Toccata and fugue in d-minor of J.S. Bach and the toccata of the 5th symphony of Widor and an improvisation on the name TADDEI, the former organist-titulaire of the basilica and initiator of the 2005-works, who died last year. After the concert, the CD will be available and Olivier Penin will sign it upon request.


Concert hommage à Jacques Taddei

2012 August 15th Olivier Penin organiste titulaire

Maître Taddei choose Olivier Penin as his co-titulaire of the great organ of Sainte-Clotilde. Now that he died in June 2012, Olivier Penin is thus the only organiste titulaire. On August, 15th, 2012, Olivier Penin was officially inaugurated as organiste titulaire of the Basilique Ste.Clotilde during the mass of Assumption Day by Father Matthieu Rougé, recteur of the Basilica.

2012 June 24th - Jacques Taddei died

June 24, 2012 - Jacques Taddei died
The Organiste titulaire of Sainte-Clotilde, Jacques Taddei, 66 years old, Member of the Academy of fine arts and Director of the Musée Marmottan-Monet, died Sunday, June 24, 2012 in Paris.
Jacques Taddei, born June 5, 1946, in Nice, made his studies in Paris, in philosophy at the Sorbonne and in music at the national Conservatory of music. At the Conservatory, he received a first prize in piano at the unanimity of the jury in the class of Lucette Descaves,, and a first prize in Chamber music. In 1973, he is winner of the Grand Prix du Concours Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud.
On the advice of Henri Dutilleux, he studied composition under Tony Aubin and organ with Marie-Claire Alain and Pierre Cochereau. The latter, who found in him a real talent for improvisation, considered him as his disciple after he had obtained, in 1980, the Grand Prix for organ improvisation at the Concours international d'orgue de Chartres.
In 1987, Jacques Taddei succeeded Jean Langlais as Organiste titulaire at the great organ of the Sainte Clotilde Basilica in Paris.
Pursuing an international career of performer and creator, Jacques Taddei was one of the few musicians of his generation who could also offer organ or piano recitals in programs entirely devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Liszt or César Franck. He recorded two CD ROMs of organ and piano dedicated to this last composer. He also recorded the Poulenc Concerto under the direction of Laurent Petitgirard, a CD devoted to improvisation (which won the Grand Prix du disque in 1996) and the Sinfonia concertante for organ and orchestra by Marcel Landowski, which was dedicated to him.
His performances brought him to most European countries, as well as Russia, the United States, Latin America, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. He played in France with many orchestras, including the Orchestre de Paris, and, abroad, with the greatest conductors, including Georges Prêtre, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Serge Baudo, José López Coboz and James Conlon. He was regularly invited to participate in juries of international competitions.
Musician, teacher and administrator, Jacques Taddei was Director of the Conservatoire supérieur de Paris-Conservatoire national de région from 1987 to December 2004. He was also President of the Académie internationale d'été de Nice, director of the Festival d'art sacré de la Ville de Paris from 1993 to 2005, Artistic Director of the Concours international d'orgue de la Ville de Paris, which he created in 1995. Taddei was Deputy Mayor for culture of the city of Rueil-Malmaison during twelve years. He participated during his tenure in the creation of the Conservatoire national de region, as well as that of the École des beaux-arts, a new media library and five cultural centres.
He was director of the Musée Marmottan-Monet since 2007. This museum, bequeathed in 1932 to the Academy of fine arts by Paul Marmottan, presents nowadays the largest collection of paintings by Claude Monet in the world.
Taddei was director of music at Radio France from January 2005 to January 2006 and appointed inspector general of the Ministry of education in February 2006.
Jacques Taddei died of a heart attack Sunday, June 24, 2012 at his home of the Museum Marmottan-Monet in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. He was buried at Châteauneuf near Grasse Tuesday July 03, 2012.