Cathedral of Notre Dame organist joins KU faculty

photo by: The Associated Press

Olivier Latry, an organist at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, sits at the organ of the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia Thursday, May 11, 2006. Latry is joining the University of Kansas faculty as an artist in residence next school year.

An internationally established organist is joining the faculty at the University of Kansas School of Music.

Olivier Latry, one of the three organists for the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, is filling the William T. Kemper Artist-in-Residence at KU for the upcoming school year, the university recently announced in a news release.

The appointment at KU will be Latry’s first academic position outside of France. Currently he is professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory of Music. Additionally, he gives more than 100 concerts a year and has performed in more than 50 countries on five continents.

KU organ professor James Higdon, who has also performed at Notre Dame, said Latry’s appointment “cannot be overstated.”

“He will have an unparalleled connection with our students,” Higdon said in the news release. “The Greater Kansas City community has an enviable culture in the arts that extends to the organ and its literature, and his presence will enrich the entire region.”

As part of the appointment, Latry will visit the university each semester for three years to give lessons, teach master classes and perform concerts.

His first visit to KU is expected in November, when he will also perform a benefit concert at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City, Mo. The proceeds of the event will benefit the Cathedral of Notre Dame employees who have lost their jobs because of the devastating fire at the cathedral in April.

Latry has a previous relationship with the university. He has performed at KU seven times since 1986, most recently in October 2017, Higdon said.

“In that first visit, we established a strong personal bond and long-lasting relationship with KU and our organ program,” Higdon said.


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