Carolyn Botkin Mattax/Herndon Spillman Professor of Organ Studies
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-2504
Herndon Spillman (Mattax Professor of Organ) has earned an international reputation for his interpretations of the works of French composers and is in demand as a recitalist both here and abroad, frequently touring in France where he has played in the regions of Northern and Southern France, Burgundy, and Alsace. In 1997, he completed his first successful tour of Germany, playing seven concerts in Central Germany. He has also played recitals in Switzerland and the Caribbean. In 1992 he was featured as a performer at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1990, he was the only American organist asked to perform at the French International Convention of the Fédération Francophone des Amis de L’Orgue, which focused on the historic organs of Alsace. Recently he was a featured recitalist for the eighth International Organ Festival held at the monastery of Sãn Bento in Sãn Paulo, Brazil, which highlighted North American organists.
A protégé of Maurice Duruflé, Herndon Spillman is highly regarded as interpreter of Duruflé’s music. A two-year study with the composer culminated in a doctoral dissertation, The Organ Works of Maurice Duruflé, regarded as an important reference source concerning the interpretation of this repertoire. Most recently was a contributing author to the book, Maurice Duruflé, the Last Impressionist, which was published by Scarecrow press in June of 2002 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth, January 11, 1902. In addition to his writings on Duruflé, Spillman produced the first complete recording of the composer’s organ works, which was awarded the artist a Grand Prix du Disque from the French Academy or Records in 1975.
A graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans, he attended Indiana University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. There he studied with Oswald Ragatz, earning the Master and Doctor of Music degrees as well as the Performer’s Certificate. As a doctoral candidate, he was affiliated with the university’s renowned Black Music Center, where he assembled a collection of organ music written by African-American composers. As a resident artist at the Cité International des Arts in Paris, further study took place with Marie-Claire Alain and André Marchal, in addition to his work with Duruflé.
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Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986) is best known as composer of the hauntingly beautiful and moving Requiem of 1947, and as organist during his long tenure at the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont in Paris. He studied composition and organ with Tournemire, Vierne, Gigout, and Dukas among others, and became well known outside France through tours and conferences, often attended with his wife, the late Marie-Madeleine Chevalier.
Ebrecht has brought together in this centenary tribute a fine collection of articles on Duruflé’s life and work that will enthrall all those who have come under the spell of this great master of French Impressionism.
About the contributors:
Marie-Claire Alain the renowned French organist, recording artist, and teacher was one of Duruflés first harmony students at the Paris Conservatoire.
James Frazier has studied liturgy and music at several universities, and was a Fulbright scholar in France, where he studied privately with Madame Duruflé.
Maria Rubis Bauer concluded her doctoral dissertation on Duruflé at the University of Kansas.
Jeffrey Reynolds is Associate Professor of Humanities and chair of the music department at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
Herndon Spillman’s landmark recording of the complete works of Duruflé won him a Grand Prix du Disque in 1973. He is Professor of Music at Louisiana State University.
Eliane Chevalier was the sister of Marie-Madeleine Duruflé, with whom she shared a passion for music.
Ned Tipton is Director of Music of the American Cathedral in Paris.