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French-born Jean-Willy Kunz Montreal Symphony Orchestra's new organist-in-residence

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Last week, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra announced that the new Casavant organ at the Maison Symphonique will be inaugurated on May 28, 2014. Today, the organization announced that its first organist-in-residence will be Jean-Willy Kunz.

The French-born organist completed his studies with a PhD from McGill University in 2011 and now teaches at the Université de Montrál and performs regularly with the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec.

The final phase of the auditions for the post were held on Sunday, in front of an audience of 500, said a press release from the Montreal Symphony.

The selection committee included music director Kent Nagano, Kunz’s PhD advisor John Grew, Noel Spinelli, who handed Kunz the third prize at Montreal’s third International Organ Competition in 2011, and the Montreal Symphony’s organist-emeritus, Olivier Latry, who is the titular organist at Notre-Dame in Paris.

Kunz’s new job will go beyond performing on the new pipe organ, Casavant’s Opus 3,900. He will also coordinate a concert series on the instrument and help the orchestra in its seasonal outreach activities.

The new organ is named after Pierre Béique, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s first manager.

You can find out more about Kunz here.

John Terauds

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