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Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin

Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin

| France

SOPHIE-VÉRONIQUE CAUCHEFER-CHOPLIN comes from a family of musicians who taught her piano from an early age. After completing piano, organ (prof. Gérard Letellier) and harmony courses at the National Music School of Le Mans, she entered the Paris Conservatory where she studied organ with prof. Rolande Falcinelli, improvisation, harmony, fugue and counterpoint with prof. Jean Lemaire, prof. Michel Merlet and prof. Jean-Claude Henry. Her academic success was rewarded in 1980 with the French Ministry of Culture award. Prof. Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin was named titular of the Grand Organs of the St. Jean-Baptiste de la Salle Church in Paris in 1983. In 1985, she added the position of deputy co-titular of the Grand Organs of the St. Sulpice Church in Paris with together with prof. Daniel Roth (from February 2023 he will remain as emeritus titular organist). In 1990, after the advanced teaching by prof. Loïc Mallié, she became the first woman to win the second prize in improvisation at the Chartres International Organ Improvisation Competition. In 2023, she was named co-titular of the Grand Organs of St. Sulpice with prof. Karol Mossakowski.

Prof. Cauchefer-Choplin has an extensive international career, having given recitals worldwide in more than 30 countries, she regularly plays in the USA. Since 1998, she has given master classes of improvisation (Dallas, Chicago, New-York, Washington, Minneapolis, Tokyo, Hong-Kong, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, etc. and all across the France) and has lead organ improvisation course in Biarritz and London. Considered by her peers as one of the finest improvisers of her generation, she also performs in organ concerts, notably alongside Pierre Arditi, Pauline Choplin, Pierre-Marie Escourrou, Didier Flamand, Brigitte Fossey, François-Eric Gendron, Michael Lonsdale, Marcel Maréchal and Guillaume Marquet. In 2019, she also performed with foreign actors in Germany and Finland.

Due to her sensitivity to improvisation she is regularly invited to give masterclasses both in her home-country as well as abroad, including such venues as the American Guild of Organists (AGO) National Convention in 2006 and 2012, as well as at the leading academies in London, Biarritz, Stockholm, Schwäbisch Gmünd, USA, etc. She also has participated as a jury member in national and international organ competitions, including the one at the AGO National Conventions in Chicago, Biarritz, Angers, Nashville, the Longwood Gardens, Miami, Québec, Dublin, Chartres, Odense, Saint Albans, Schwäbisch Gmünd (2006, 2012–2014, 2016–2017, 2019), also at the Chartres International Competition, the Karl Nielsen Odense Competition etc. She was appointed as the Professor of Organ Performance and Improvisation at the Royal College of Music in London in 2008. Since 2010 she has become a visiting (guest) professor at the Yale University.

She is considered to be one of the best improvisers of the generation. Her recordings of J. S. Bach, F. B. Mendelssohn, J. Brahms, C. Franck, J. Rheinberger, O. Messiaen, J. J. Grunenwald, A. Roth, along with her own improvisations, has received wide acclaim and huge success. Her last recording (opuses by F. B. Mendelssohn and D. Bédard) received a 5 Diapasons Award in June 2008. In September 2017, as part of the concert cycle she performed at the St. Sulpice church, where she improvised, for the first time in this venue, on a silent film (La passion de Jeanne d'Arc by C. Th. Dreyer). Since then, she has regularly repeated this format in France and abroad: in particular, she has been invited to perform at the Fête du Cinéma in Paris (2019 and 2020).

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