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Jean Charles Gandrille

To become a composer:

his childhood dream. Jean-Charles Gandrille was just over 10 years old when struggling to rewrite his first improvisation, he composed his first work. It was a revelation to him, and since then, he has never stopped composing.

Born in 1982, Jean-Charles Gandrille spent his youth on the family farm, surrounded by nature and birdsong. He initially studied the piano at the Regional Conservatory in Versailles and later studied the organ at the Regional Conservatory in Paris, where he was unanimously awarded three first prizes (organ, harmony, and orchestration). He continued to study the organ at the Regional Conservatory in Saint-Maur, where he was unanimously awarded a gold medal.

In the year 2000, he met the composer Thierry Escaich and studied improvisation with him. He will become a friend who will encourage him and help him in his vocation as a composer.

From 2001 to 2006, he completed his education at the Paris National Conservatory of Music and Dance, where he was awarded prizes for orchestration, harmony, organ improvisation, analysis, counterpoint, and fugue and forms. He learned to play the violin for six years and has been learning to play the cello for another six.

Jean-Charles Gandrille has attended the workshops of the renowned French composer Jean-Louis Florentz in Nice who has had a lasting impact on his career and further encouraged his calling as a musician and composer.

Between the ages of 18 and 20, he won three international organ improvisation competitions. In 2000, he won the Second Grand Prize and the Audience Prize at the Chartres Competition, where he was the only finalist. At the age of 18, Jean-Charles became the youngest prizewinner in the history of this competition. In 2001, he won first prize at the Saarbrücken Competition, and in 2002, first prize and the Audience Prize at the Yoann Pachelbel Competition in Nuremberg.

He has received various international awards for his compositions, including first prize at the Valentino Bucchi Competition in Rome (2001), first prize and Audience Prize at the French Flute Orchestra Competition in Paris (2002), and he was unanimously awarded first prize at the Composition Competition for Organ in Saint-Bertrand de Comminges (2006)

In the spring of 2015, he was guest composer at the Festival d’Auvers-sur-Oise, where ten of his compositions were performed, including a performance by Renaud Capuçon.

He has received commissions from the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded on CD in 2015: the Violin Concerto (2011) and Minimalist Concerto, a double concerto for Piano, Organ, and Orchestra (2012). This CD received support from the Marcelle and Robert De Lacour Foundation.

He has also received commissions from Notre-Dame-de-Paris Cathedral, including a piece for mixed choir, fourteen hunting horns, and organ, and a Magnificat for mixed choir, children’s choir, and grand organ, which premiered at the cathedral in 2016.

The latter was released by Warner Classics in May 2020, and was featured on the Gautier Capuçon show on “Radio-Classique”.

In April 2019, his Stabat Mater was the last polyphony sung at Notre-Dame-de-Paris Cathedral, just twenty-four hours before the devastating fire. The YouTube video of this concert has been viewed 36,000 times. It is his most acclaimed work, both in concerts and in religious services.

His “Christmas Oratorio”, commissioned by the “Compagnie Cadéëm” for children’s choir, narrator, accordion, and two percussionists was premiered in December 2021 in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon by the Children’s Choirs of the Cathedrals of Notre-Dame- de- Paris and Saint-Jean-de-Lyon, conducted by Emilie Fleury and Thibaut Louppe, with Trio KDM (Adélaïde Ferrière, drums 1, Jean-Baptiste Bonnard, drums 2, and Anthony Millet, accordion) and with the actor Pierre Val. The oratorio was performed again in December 2022 at the Royal Opera of Wallonia, with the Opera Children Choir conducted by Véronique Tollet and Trio KDM (with Emil Kuyumcuyan drums 2) . In December 2023, it will be performed at Fontevraud Abbey by the Notre-Dame de Paris Children’s Choir and KDM.

Jean-Charles’ “Book for Cello”, a collection of pieces for solo cello written for the cellist Gautier Capuçon’s 40th birthday, was published in April 2023 by Éditions Billaudot.

In 2019, the French conductor Jean-Pierre Lo Ré commissioned the work “Celestial Vision” for Duduk, Kéna, Choir, and Organ, and in 2023 commissioned “Armenia” for choir, orchestra, and Duduk, which premiered in June of that same year at the Church of the Trinity in Paris by the French Oratorio Choir and Orchestra.

In November 2023, he won the First Prize in the Sacred Music Competition of the Fernando Rielo Foundation in Madrid, with “Tibi, Domine” for mixed choir and orchestra, ahead of 29 scores from around the world.

He serves as the organist for the Church of St. Lubin, Rambouillet, and Notre Dame Church, Auvers-sur-Oise.