Olivier Penin is one of the most remarkable organists of his generation. Born in 1981, he began
playing the piano at the age of five and entered the Maîtrise de Caen in 1987. After his classes
(mainly with David Noël-Hudson) and obtaining his organ prize, he was appointed in 2004 by
competition to the tribune of the great organ of the basilica of Sainte Clotilde in Paris.
Open to music from all eras, he interprets works by composers from the 17th century to the present
day and publishes videos on YouTube that today exceed two million views.
In 2022, his 7th album with the complete works for organ of César Franck was released by the label
Brilliant Classics, in 3 discs recorded at the organ of the basilica of Sainte Clotilde.
He plays in France and abroad both alone and with vocal ensembles or orchestras.
Alone, he is regularly invited in various European countries (Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy,
Slovenia, Croatia, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Denmark etc.) but he has also performed in Russia,
Mexico and Japan. He has also collaborated with various orchestras (Orchestre Lamoureux,
Orchestre Colonne, Orchestre de Chambre de La Haye) to interpret the great pages for orchestra
and organ (Poulenc's Concerto, Handel's Concerti, Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3, Respighi's Suite in
G major etc.) but also original works like the Symphonic variations by C. Franck in his arrangement
for organ and orchestra and Francks Grande pièce symphonique orchestrated by G. Guillard.
He was heard on the radio alone or with various formations (Radioclassique, France music).
He takes particular care to propose programs where the works are put into perspective under a
theme or an idea in order to make the listener ‘travel’. He thus interpretes works from the Baroque,
Romantic and contemporary periods.
Very focused on today's music, he was able to ensure the creation of works like those of Olivier
Schmidt ("The tears of penance"), Pierre-Adrien Charpy ("Source") and Stéphane Delplace (fugue
"Bach Panther", "Aria", "Lux aeterna", "Tenebrae factae sunt").
He was asked several times as a member of the jury of international competitions and he is
regularly invited to give masterclasses (Poland, England, Croatia, South Korea).
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Born in 1981, Olivier Penin began playing the piano at
the age of five and in 1987 he joined the Schola
Cantorum in Caen. In 1996, he started to work with
David Noël-Hudson, a cooperation which lasted
almost ten years. With the latter, he was unanimously
awarded a premier prix as well a prize for perfection
for which he was unanimously nominated. In
addition, he worked with Ronan Maillard for
composition and from 2006 onwards with Jacques
Taddei for improvisation. In 2009, he won the
Bettencourt-Schueller Prize with the vocal ensemble
In 2004, he was appointed co-titular organist of the
basilica Sainte Clotilde in Paris. He is in charge of the
religious music and the choice of the programs in the
basilica. In addition, he arranges and compose. His
works include Dichotomy, which was premiered on
the radio in 2006, and the mass of Sainte Clotilde,
created for the 150th birthday of the basilica.
He became the only titular organist of the great
organ of the basilica in 2012 and created an
international series, a masterclass which attracts
pupils from all over the world. He made numerous
videos on his organ which generated more than 250
In 2013, he recorded a CD Hommage aux maîtres de
Sainte Clotilde for the label Festivo, which received
four stars from the Choir and organ magazine. The
specialized press praised his technical qualities and
the “bubble of champagne”, ”the poetry” and the
“pure French spirit” of his performances (De
Orgelvriend), but also the “truthfulness of its rubato”
(Orgelnieuws), his freedom in the agogic as well as his
interpretation, called “very souple with fantasy and
expression” (La Tribune de l’orgue)…
In 2016, he recorded with the ensemble Basilica A
tribute to César Franck with the three chorals for
organ and choral works of Franck and two creations
of Stephane Delplace. Among the good reviews, there
is one who compared him to Riccardo Chailly in his
recording of the symphonies of Malher
His concert career can be characterized as eclectic.
This is firstly shown in the choice of the works he
plays: he offers a variety of programs with works of
baroque composers as well as romantic and
contemporary compositions. In 2008, he created
Source of Pierre-Adrien Charpy with the ensemble
O’Trente, Les larmes de la penitence of Olivier
Schmidt with the choir of Saint Denis and Heracles of
He is also eclectic in the wide range of different
groups he is working with. He was invited by various
orchestras (Orchestre Lamoureux, Orchestre
Colonne, Orchestre de Chambre de La Haye…) to
interpret several masterpieces for organ and
orchestra (Poulenc’s concerto, Händel‘s Concerti, the
organ symphony n°3 of Saint-Saëns…).
He also likes to work with choirs. With Marc
Korovitch, he created the ensemble Basilica: a
professional group dedicated to perform music for
organ and choir. He gave concerts with other famous
choir like the vocal ensemble Aedes (Directed by
Mathieu Romano), the Maîtrise de Paris (Directed by
P. Marco) and the Academy of vocal arts...
He performed for radio, both as a soloist and with
other musicians and was invited to play in many
countries in Europe (France, Holland, Slovenia,
Germany…), the U.S.A., Mexico, Japan, Russia. In
addition, he was also member of the jury of several
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