Conference on Tournemire’s L’Orgue Mystique

July 19, 2011

Gregorian Chant and Modern Composition for the Catholic Liturgy: Charles Tournemire’s L’Orgue Mystique as Guide

February 2-3, 2012

The Church Music Association of America

in collaboration with Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

and the Church of the Epiphany in Miami, Florida

The Church Music Association of America will hold a conference exploring Charles Tournemire’s landmark L’Orgue Mystique on February 2-3, 2012 on the campus of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and at the Church of the Epiphany in South Miami. The conference seeks to explore the aesthetic, liturgical, and compositional principles of L’Orgue Mystique, the implications of the work for modern compositions inspired by Gregorian chant, and the role of modern compositions and the organ in the Catholic liturgy.

The conference will include a Missa Cantata for the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Candlemas) featuring Tournemire’s office for the day from L’Orgue Mystique, a concert featuring selections from L’Orgue Mystique, as well as recital programs and papers relating to the conference theme. Papers presented will be considered for publication in a collection of essays following the conference.

The conference committee welcomes proposals for papers and recital programs. The call for papers may be viewed below or downloaded in a pdf file by clicking here: Call for Papers.

The deadline for proposals is September 2nd, 2011. Notification of acceptance will be given by September 15th, 2011.

Proposals must be submitted via email to Jennifer Donelson at:

For paper proposals (20 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions), please send an e-mail including:
1.Title and Abstract (250 word maximum)
2.Your name and affiliation
3.Your phone number and email address
4.Bio (250 word maximum)

For recital proposals (25 or 50 minutes in length), please send an e-mail including:
1.Selections to be included on the program (including title, composer, and length of each selection)
2.A 100 word abstract (for lecture recitals only)
3.Your name and affiliation, as well as the name and affiliation of each performer/ensemble
4.Your phone number and email address
5.Your bio (250 word maximum)
6.A brief bio of each performer/ensemble included in the recital program (100 word maximum)
7.One or two recordings in mp3 format which demonstrate a recent performance. The selections need not necessarily be recordings of the pieces proposed for the conference recital program. File size limit: 10 MB.
8.Performance space requirements (instrumentation, configuration, need for music stands and chairs, etc.)

Paper topics arising from the theme include, but are not limited to:
1.Compositional principles of L’Orgue Mystique or theoretical analyses of the work
2.Tournemire’s use and adaptation of Gregorian chant in L’Orgue Mystique
3.The works and styles of other composers that influenced the style, concept, or structure of L’Orgue Mystique
4.The influence of Tournemire’s work and style on other composers following the composition of L’Orgue Mystique
5.French liturgical praxis and organ-building principles that shaped L’Orgue Mystique
6.The influence of the work of the Benedictine Monastery at Solesmes on L’Orgue Mystique and other compositions from the late nineteenth century to today
7.The influence of Tra le Sollecitudini, other early twentieth century documents, and liturgical trends on the work of Tournemire, his contemporaries, or more recent compositions
8.The relationship between L’Orgue Mystique and Tournemire’s organ improvisations
9.The principles of chant-based compositions in the Catholic liturgy as modeled in the work of Tournemire, and
the future of chant-inspired compositions in the Catholic liturgy
10.The role of the organ in the Catholic liturgy as related to Tournemire’s work
11.The place of Charles Tournemire in the French symphonic tradition and the place of L’Orgue Mystique in the organ repertoire
12.The nature and qualities of sacred music in the Catholic liturgy as exhibited in L’Orgue Mystique and/or other chant-inspired compositions for the liturgy

Recital programs arising from the theme include, but are not limited to:
1.Performances of selections from L’Orgue Mystique
2.Organ improvisations on Gregorian chant or related to the French symphonic tradition
3.New compositions based on or inspired by Gregorian chant for use in the Catholic liturgy
4.Any combination of the above, or incorporating other complementary compositions and styles
5.Lecture recitals

Papers will be 20 minutes in length followed with a five-minute period for questions.

Recital programs may be either 25 or 50 minutes in length. Performances will take place at the Church of the Epiphany in South Miami. If submitting a recital program for compositions other than those for organ, recitalists must provide all performing personnel (e.g. choir, string ensemble, etc.) No piano, musical instruments (other than organ), or sound amplification will be available for the recitals, except for a microphone for the presenter speaking during the recital if requested. The organ at the Church of the Epiphany is a three-manual, 61-rank Ruffatti organ, the specifications of which may be found at:

The official language of the conference is English.

Presenters must register for the conference ($75) and will be responsible for their own expenses.

Questions regarding the conference may be directed to Jennifer Donelson via email or phone: or (954) 262-7610

The conference website is: