Biographies

Merit Eichhorn

Merit Eichhorn, born in 1978 in Chemnitz, Saxony, studied Church Music at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik Dresden before entering the Centre d'Etudes Supérieures Musique et Danse (CESMD) in Toulouse, where she studied organ and harpsichord with Michel Bouvard, Jan Willem Jansen and Yasuko Uyama. She completed her studies by winning the First Prize "à l'unanimité" of the CESMD.

From 2003 to 2006 she studied at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with Jesper Christensen (harpsichord, basso continuo), Jean-Claude Zehnder and Andrea Marcon (organ) as well as Rudolf Lutz (improvisation).

As a soloist and chamber musician she performed in Europe (Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria, Italy,...) and the USA with different ensembles, choirs and orchestras. She also took part in radio and CD recordings (ORF, Bayrischer Rundfunk).

Merit Eichhorn obtained prizes at several important international organ competitions such as Silbermann-Competition in Freiberg (second prize), Buxtehude-Competition in Lübeck (third prize) and Concours International d'Orgue de la Ville de Lyon (third prize).

From 2003 to 2009 she was assistant-teacher for organ at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik Dresden, since 2009 she has been senior lecturer for harpsichord correpetition, harpsichord and basso continuo at the University for Music and Art in Graz (Austria).

She is also organist of the Saint-Augustin-Church in Zurich, Switzerland.
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Frédéric Champion

French musician, Frédéric Champion has won several prizes and awards for performing organ music from the 16th through the 21st century. Having performed regularly as a soloist and with orchestras and choirs, Champion has given several concerts in Europe, Asia and North America. He has also created pieces exclusively for the organ, as well as for organ and percussions or choirs. Champion is also linked to transcribing symphonic pieces for the organ. He also cultivates the art of improvisation on the organ and the fortepiano.

Born in Lyon in 1976, Champion starts taking piano lessons at the age of 8 and then pursues advanced musical studies at different conservatories: Conservatoire National de Région in Lyon where he studies organ with Louis Robilliard; Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris (organ class with Michel Bouvard); and Centre d'Études Supérieures de Musique (CESM) in Toulouse (organ and harpsichord classes with Jan Willem Jansen). Alongside his organ and harpsichord classes, Frédéric Champion specializes in pianoforte with Yasuko Uyama at the Conservatoire National de Région in Toulouse and professors Edoardo Torbianelli (repertoire) and Rudolf Lutz (improvisation) at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland.

Between 1998 and 2004, awards in international competitions include 1st Prize at the Minoru Yoshida Tokyo-Musashino Competition and “Bachpreisträger” at the Leipzig Bach Competition both in 2004; 2nd Prize at both the Concours de musique de chambre FNAPEC in Paris (organ & percussions) and the Luzern Competition in 2002; 1st Prize at the International Competition Gottfried Silbermann (Freiberg, D) in 2001; 2nd Prize at the International Competition “Musica Antiqua” in Bruges in 2000; and winner at the Xavier Darasse International Competition in Toulouse in 1998.

And in October 2008, Champion won 1st Prize and Audience Prize at the Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC), a prestigious new competition in Montreal that plays an important role in recognizing and promoting the value of organ music. Since, Frédéric Champion acts as its first ambassador and his performances are regularly aired on both Radio-Canada and CBC, official broadcasters of CIOC events. Thanks to his victory at the CIOC, Champion has given concerts across North America in 2009 and 2010 (Salt Lake City, Toronto, Cincinnati, Calgary, Montreal, Lachine, Rimouski, Edmonton, Savannah, etc.), and recorded a CD of French Music (ATMA Classique). This CD has received rave reviews in the American Organist and in Choir and Organ (UK) which declares:
“Champion is one of the finest young organist you'll ever hear!”