Workshop with Montreal Symphony Orchestra Organist in Residence and RCCO Travelling Clinician Jean-Willy Kunz

November 6, 2019 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
St. John's Shaughnessy Anglican Church
1490 Nanton Ave
BC V6H 2E2
By donation

Expanding the Possibilities of Organ Repertoire: Transcription, improvisation, jazz and non-classical music.

Presented thanks to the RCCO Travelling Clinician programme, with the help of the Canadian International Organ Competition.


A one hour, three part workshop, with musical illustrations by Jean-Willy Kunz and volunteer audience participation in the last section.

Part 1: An overview of organ transcriptions

Part 2: Ways to use the organ in non-classical and jazz repertoire

Part 3: Ideas for improvisation, and its role, both in concert and in worship services.

The French-born Canadian organist Jean-Willy Kunz,studied with Louis Robilliard and Mireille Lagacé, as well as at McGill University, where he earned a doctorate with John Grew. He has been a prize-winner at a number of organ competitions, including the Canadian International Organ Competition, where in 2011 he won third prize and the Richard-Bradshaw Audience Prize. He also has an MBA from HEC Montréal.

Since 2013, Jean-Willy Kunz has been the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s first organist in residence. In addition to playing both with the orchestra and in concert, he is responsible for the development and showcasing of the orchestra’s Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique, the new four manual Casavant organ installed in their home venue, Maison symphonique de Montréal.

Recent performances include with the Montreal, Quebec and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, the Cirque du Soleil, Branford Marsalis, the Violons du Roy, and Martha and Rufus Wainwright.

His discography includes many recordings which reflect the broad range of his musical influences: organ and orchestra with the OSM; “André Gagnon Baroque” for harpsichord and symphony orchestra; traditional music of the Balkans for saxophones and organ; two masses by Théodore Dubois for choir and organ; 20th-century French music for harpsichord, flute and clarinet; an album with Quebec singer songwriter Pierre Lapointe; Baroque music with Ensemble Caprice; Christmas music with Marie-Josée Lord; the original score for a number of short films. He has co-written a book on German organist Helmut Walcha (Do Bentzinger, 2004) as well as an article titled “L’orgue et le regard de l’écoute” (Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2014).

In September 2015, Jean-Willy Kunz was appointed organ professor at the Montreal Conservatory of Music. He currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.

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