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French Organ Music


Kimberly has been a Francophile from an early age.  During her first trip to France in January, 1978 with John and Margaret Mueller, she played for Louis Robilliard, who accepted her as a student at the Lyon Conservatoire National de Région 1978-79.  She had daily access to the pristine Cavaillé-Coll organ in the Église Saint-François-de-Sales, where she focused on learning music of the French symphonic school and Messiaen.


In the autumn of 1979, she had the opportunity to specialize in early music for a semester in Paris during which she studied with Odile Baillieux at the Église Saint Germain-des-Prés.  She also attended seminars on French Classical repertoire at Pierrefonds with Michel Chapuis and Jean Saint-Arroman.


During the academic year 1980-81, Kimberly studied with Xavier Darasse at the Conservatoire Régional de Toulouse, where she obtained the Premier Prix in Organ Performance in 1981. Darasse was a seminal influence on her playing, especially with regards to organ touch and rhythmic articulation.  During her year in Toulouse, Kimberly Marshall recorded his work, Organum III, for Radio France. 


The Cavaillé-Coll organ at Saint-Sernin, Toulouse, is one of Kimberly’s favorite instruments.  She selected it for her first-ever CD recording, Kimberly Marshall plays the Cavaillé-Coll organ of Saint-Sernin, Toulouse, released by Priory Records in 1989. More recently, she made a video for the Music Instrument Museum (MIM) to demonstrate the French symphonic sound in the first movement of Widor’s Symphonie VI:


Kimberly’s interpretations of French classical repertoire can be heard in Bach and the French Influence, recorded on the Fisk organ at Stanford University.


Review of Bach and the French influence by Donald Satz ( March 23, 2002):  The performances of the French works are delightful; Marshall's love for this music clearly is revealed. She delivers great poignancy in pieces like de Grigny's "Tierce en taille" and provides impressive majesty and exuberance to de Grigny's long "Offertoire sur les grands jeux". Couperin and Marchand are equally honored by Marshall who easily takes me to the French Court.


Her performances of Fantaisies by César Franck and Jehan Alain are recorded on A Fantasy through Time: Five Centuries of Organ Fantasies on the Richards-Fowkes organ at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, Scottsdale, Arizona (with accompanying DVD).


A video of Kimberly playing Jehan Alain's "Deuxieme Fantaisie", can be seen at


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