The Great Organ Cavaillé-Coll

organiste titulaire

Olivier Penin

Olivier Penin (*1981)  began playing the piano at the age of five and entered the Maîtrise (choir) of Caen at the age of six. After he finished his education with obtaining his ‘prix’, he was appointed at the tribune of Sainte Clotilde in 2004 by competition.
Today he is the only titulaire and in charge of religious music. As such he writes and arranges works, created a new tradition of monthly organ recitals on Saturday as well as a yearly masterclass around the masters of Sainte Clotilde and their sources of inspiration, in which students from all over the world participate.
In 2013, his CD ‘Hommage to the masters of Sainte Clotilde’ was released on the Festivo label. The press praised his technical qualities, talking about "champagne bubbles", "poetry", "pure French spirit" and also his “natural rubato” and his 'expert' play and 'transparency' (Choir and organ magazine, which gave the disc four stars).
In March 2016, a new CD was released by Bayard and distributed by Hamonia mundi. It is a "tribute to Frank", with the three chorales for organ, motets for choir and organ (with the vocal ensemble “Basilica”) and two creations of Stéphane Delplace.

His concert career is placed under the sign of eclecticism. Eclecticism first of all in the choice of works, in which one can find works by Bach as well as romantic pieces or contemporary compositions. Eclectism is also apparent in the choice and variety of groups with which he works. He is the organist of the choir O'Trente (Dir M. Korovitch), the vocal ensemble Aedes (Dir Mathieu Romano) and the vocal ensemble Basilica, a young and professional choir which he created with Marc Korovitch in order to perform music for choir and organ.
He is also active as a soloist with various orchestras performing various works (concertos of Handel, Saint-Saëns Symphony...). On the radio, he performed alone and with various formations. He also does not neglect Chamber music as he plays in smaller formations (duo, trio and in particular with harp) for which he also arranges works. He is a regular guest of festivals in various countries of Europe (France, Holland, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Belgium,...) or the United States and he could also be heard on the Mexico or the Japan...
As part of his activities, videos of him are posted on YouTube, which now exceed the 200.000 views.

Former organists

César Franck, 1859/63-1890 (1).
Gabriel Pierne, 1885-1890.

Gabriel Pierne, 1890-1898.
George Mac-Master 1893-1894

Charles Tournemire, 1898-1939.
Joseph Ermend Bonnal, ca 1910
Roger Stiegler, ca 1920
Maurice Duruflé, 1920-1927
André Fleury, ca 1922-ca 1930
Daniel Lesur, 1927-1936
Henriette Puig-Roget, 1929
Antoine Reboulot, ca 1935
Bernard Piché, 1938-1939
Bernard Schulé, 1938-1945

Joseph Ermend Bonnal, 1941-1944
Bernard Schulé, 1942-1945

Jean Langlais, 1945-1987
Pierre Denis, 1945-1972
Pierre Cogon, 1972-1975

Jean Langlais and Pierre Cogen, 1976-1987
Marie-Louise Jaquet-Langlais, 1979-1987

Pierre Cogen and Jacques Taddei, 1988-1993

Jacques Taddei, 1994-2012

Jacques Taddei and Olivier Penin, 2004-2012

Olivier Penin (starting 2012).
Nicolas Pichon (starting 2013)

La tradition musicale de la basilique Sainte-Clotilde de Paris L’Orgue n° 278-279 (2007/II-III) 163-176 ISSN 0030-5170

(1) in contrast with what is generally stated, Helga Schauerte argues that Franck was officially appointed as organiste titulaire in fall 1863 instead of 1859 (Helga Schauerte-Maubouet Théodore Dubois et César Franck à Sainte-Clotilde in: La tradition musicale de la basilique Sainte-Clotilde de Paris L’Orgue n° 278-279 (2007/II-III) 7-14 ISSN 0030-5170).César Franck was appointed as organiste titulaire in 1864 instead of 1859.

'Organistes accompagnateurs'

Théodroe Dubois, 1857-1863
Stéphane Gaurion, 1863 (?)-1869
Samuel Rousseau, 1870-1878 (suppléant: Guillaume Couture)
? (Suppléant: Dynam-Victor Fumet), 1879-1887
Clotaire-Joseph Franck, 1888-1890 (?)
Léon Cazajus (Suppléant: Émile Poillot), 1891-1923
Pierre Besson, 1923- ca 1964
Francois Tricot, ca 1964-1987
Yves Castagnet, 1987-1988
Phillipe Brandeis, 1988-1989
Pierre-Michel Bédard, 1989-1993
Sylvie Mallet, 1993-2003
Since 2004, there is no organiste accompagnateur anymore (and no orgue de choeur either).

La tradition musicale de la basilique Sainte-Clotilde de Paris L’Orgue n° 278-279 (2007/II-III) 163-176 ISSN 0030-5170

Statue of César Franck at Square Samuel-Rousseau