The titular organist


Born in the United States, Sarah Soularue came to Paris in 1972 to study with Maurice and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé.

She was also a student of Edouard Souberbielle, Jean Langlais, Françoise Renet and Suzanne Chaisemartin. She was awarded a unanimous "Premier Prix" in 1978 in the organ class of the "Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Paris".

Assistant of Maurice and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé at the great organ of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont in Paris since 1975, she was appointed titular of that instrument in 1989 and kept this position together with Marie-Madeleine Duruflé until 1992. She has been titular of the great organ in Gisors since 1983.

Sarah Soularue’s musical activity consists in liturgy, teaching and concerts in Europe as well as in the United States.





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History has it that…

By an icy November night, in spite of alarming weather forecasts and the beginning of a snow storm, a 17-year-old girl closes the family house's door, gets in her Beetle and switches on the ignition. It is 5 in the morning. She has to drive a hundred miles to get from her native town to Omaha, the industrial capital of Nebraska. Two great French organists have arranged to meet her in the famous chapel of Boys Town.

On the occasion of a transcontinental tour, they give that very night a concert there and have accepted to audition the unknown young artist during the day…Maurice and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé are sitting on the organ bench on each side of her. She plays the Dupré “Variations sur un Noël” from memory. As soon as the last chord has vanished in the echo, they withdraw to a corner of the loft and converse with each other in a low voice during what seems ages to her. They come back to the console: "We accept you as a student in Paris"…


""These outstanding artists have changed the course of my life: they taught me strict personal demanding, French taste, primacy of the “musical” over the “organistical”, infinite respect of the public. Thanks to them, I met my husband who was also among their students, and thus stayed in France.

Having had the immense privilege of studying for long years with Marie-Madeleine and Maurice Duruflé (who was Vierne’s favourite student), I was able to not only to collect precious indications on the works of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont's organist, but also on those of his illustrious master. The music of these two composers plays consequently a great part in my repertoire on the double account of a personal inclination and of direct transmission".


Sarah Soularue


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