"A riveting performance. A sublime experience."
"Maybe it's better that we don't get too many concerts like the one offered by Martin Jean. It's not clear that our nerves could handle repeated exposure to music-making of such visceral intensity and expressive eloquence....Enormous flair, but never a hint of exaggeration....Jean phrased with exquisite elegance...phrases were elegantly turned."
(The Kansas City Star)
"He skillfully manipulated the church's mid-sized organ as if he were playing at Chartres, Chichester or Calgary--scenes of his past triumphs....he offered just the right amount of tasteful ornamentation...Jean played this multi-faceted piece (Mozart) to a fare-thee-well that belied the instrument with which he was working...The double-edged wizardry of Bolcom and Jean yielded a refreshingly user-friendly peek at contemporary repertoire for the happily fulfilled audience."(The Lincoln Star, Nebraska)
"Organist Martin Jean comes to us covered in laurels....Jean plays with such elan that it's deceptive--the works are much harder than they look, and it was a blissful concert just to enjoy....Jean kept the many lines untangled and clarified this complex work (Hindemith) with his own keyboard mastery....it was obvious Jean could play this (Bach) with one foot tied behind his back. The notes pile up like barnacles and could sink the craft in lesser hands, but Jean hardly worked up a sweat." (Oregon Register-Guard, Eugene)
"A stellar performance...demonstrated an impressive command of his instrument. A technically assured and refined performer, Jean infuses his playing with heartfelt emotions and a wide range of expressions. His interpretations are subtle, nuanced and filled with spirit and vitality....dynamic and powerful performance."
(Deseret News, Salt Lake City)
"Jean made Bach's complex pieces sound fresh and effortless....Jean flawlessly kept spinning out the melody from one fresh design to the next in the continuous expansion' principle of the fugue. He made sure every piece got the energetic treatment and fancy ornamentation characteristic of Bach's baroque."
(Connecticut Post, Bridgeport)
"A superb performance of Vierne's Fifth Symphony...played with control, refinement and grandeur, demonstrating fine technique and superb musicianship." (The Diapason)
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Martin Jean has risen to the highest ranks of the world's concert organists and is recognized widely as a brilliant, warmly communicative artist and readily appealing personality. As the winner of two of the most prestigious organ competitions in the world, he has concertized extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
In 1986 Martin Jean was awarded first prize at the international Grand Prix de Chartres competition, held bi-annually at the Chartres Cathedral, France. As part of this prize, he was invited several times for concert tours of France, England and Luxembourg, where he played at the cathedrals of Poitiers, Chartres, Orléans, Chichester, Oxford and St. Alban's. He also appeared in concert at Radio France in Paris as part of a recital series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Louis Vierne, a performance which was broadcast live over much of western Europe. A testament to the respect which he has earned in France because of his win there, he has been invited by the competition's board of directors to be one of the judges for the 1998 Chartres competition. He was a featured performer at the 2004 national convention of the American Guild of Organists held in Los Angeles and will be at the organizations's 2006 national convention in Chicago.
In 1992 he won first prize at the National Young Artists' Competition in Organ Performance, held bi-annually by the American Guild of Organists, in Atlanta, Georgia, at its national convention. Since then, he has played over 40 recitals, including appearances at the 1993 International Congress of Organists in Montréal, the Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas, the Naples Performing Arts Center in Florida, the Riverside Church in New York City and as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.
In addition, he has also won first prizes at the 1984 University of Michigan International Organ Performance Competition and the 1985 Flint National Organ Competition. He was also a finalist in the Calgary International Organ Festival Competition in 1990.
Dr. Jean is Professor of Organ at the Yale School of Music and Director of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Prior to assuming his position at Yale, he served as Associate Professor of Music and University Organist at Valparaiso University in Indiana and as Associate Professor of Music at Concordia College in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan where he studied with Robert Glasgow and was also a holder of the Regents' Fellowship. Additional coaching has been with David Craighead and Russell Saunders. Dr. Jean has commercial recordings on the Raven and Gothic labels.