Jean-Pierre Leguay has won numerous prizes for organ, improvisation (organ, piano) and composition (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris) as well as at the international competitions of Lyon, Haarlem (Laureate), Nice, Erding (D), and the Paul-Louis Weiller Prize for Musical Composition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts – Institut de France.
Jean-Pierre Leguay, after having held the position of organist at the church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs in Paris from 1961 to 1984, was titular organist of the Grandes Orgues of Notre-Dame de Paris from 1985 to the end of 2015. He is currently titular organist emeritus at the same cathedral. He taught organ and individual and collective improvisation at the Conservatoire National de Région de Limoges from 1968 to 1989 and then at the Conservatoire National de Région de Dijon from 1989 to 2003.
Internationally recognised as an organist-concertist, composer and improviser – on the organ, on the piano and in groups – Jean-Pierre Leguay pursued his threefold career well beyond the borders of France (Europe, Canada, the United States, Asia). He is frequently invited by French and foreign radio stations, academies, universities and conservatories.
The catalogue of this composer with a passion for sound alchemy includes, to date, some eighty works for various instrumental and vocal formations (Sève, alto saxophone and piano – String quartet – Souffle, 14 instruments – Aube, organ and chamber orchestra – Cendres d'ailes, tenor and piano – Missa Deo Gratias, solo soprano, large mixed choir, brass quartet, percussion, one or two organs – Madrigal VIII for percussion, Jubilus for six instruments, works for solo piano, five Sonatas for organ...). His works are published mainly by Billaudot, Lemoine, Le Chant du Monde, Universal and Symétrie. He has received commissions from the Ministry of Culture, Radio-France, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, the Chartres International Competition, Musique Sacrée à Notre-Dame de Paris, the Scottish Arts Council of Edinburgh, the León Festival (Spain), the La Massana Festival (Andorra), the Estonian National Men’s Choir, and more.
Numerous critically acclaimed recordings have marked his openness to the wide repertoire from the 17th to the 21st century – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, Franck, Barié, Vierne, Ropartz... –. In addition, several CDs are devoted to his own compositions (organ, chamber music, vocal music in particular) as well as to his improvisation (organ, piano and two pianos).
In addition, Jean-Pierre Leguay has participated as an improviser in the music for the film “Les Mystères des Cathédrales” directed by Jean-François Delassus and produced for the television channel ARTE and the Éditions Montparnasse. The recording of his “Missa Deo Gratias” and his “Sonatas II and III” were granted a “Choc” award by the magazine “Le Monde de la Musique”. His CD of improvisations at Notre-Dame de Paris won the German Record Critics’ Prize (“Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”) and his monographic CD “Chant d'airain” was awarded five “Diapasons” by the magazine “Diapason”. Recently, a book entitled “Jean-Pierre Leguay - Portrait d'un compositeur et improvisateur” has been published by Éditions L'Harmattan, Paris.
Knight of the Legion of Honour.