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Charlotte Marck
Composer & player (organ, harpsichord and clavichord)

Photo: ©lamduchien

    Born in October 4, 1983 in Nantes - France -, Charlotte Marck studied  first harpsichord and thorough-bass, then composition, organ, improvisation and clavichord.

    She began harpsichord study at the age of 6 in her home town, studied thorough-bass two years later and continued her musical study at the CNR  - “ Conservatoire National de Région ” - of Strasbourg.

    At the age of 16, she received two first prizes at the CNR of Boulogne-Billancourt, and entered the " Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris " (CNSMDP) with unanimity to study harmony.

    Upon receiving a first prize with a distinction in harmony in Issy-les-Moulineaux (near Paris), she received, between 2002 and 2007, six " Premiers Prix " (First Prizes) : harmony (with unanimity) ; counterpoint (2002) ; fugue and forms (2004) ; 20th century composition (with unanimity - 2005 -) ; orchestration (2007) ; analysis (2009). At the age of 20, she received the Master of musical writing with very high distinction - " Diplôme de Formation Supérieure en Ecriture, mention Très Bien " -. At CNSMDP, her teachers were Isabelle Duha, Jean-Claude Raynaud, Jean-Baptiste Courtois, Michel Merlet, Thierry Escaich, Edith Lejet, Denis Cohen and Michaël Lévinas. In 2003, she also studied Orchestration with Guillaume Connesson.

    She always desired to explore all keyboard music, thus her taste for the various sonorities led her to play the organ, which she studied at the conservatoire of G. Fauré in Paris and received a first prize at the Paris CNR (centralized examinations). She also studied Improvisation at the CNR of St-Maur des Fossés, near Paris.

     After studying organ with Michel Bouvard at the CNR of Toulouse, she moved to Amsterdam to study with Pieter van Dijk in Master's program at the Conservatorium (CvA), where she received the Organ Master Diploma in June 2010, after playing her final recital on the famous Christian Müller's organ in St-Bavo’s church in Haarlem (NL). 

    Her research work, entitled An Ocean of poetry and presented in May 2010 during the Symposium around Improvisation at the Orgelpark in Amsterdam, focuses on interactions between composition and improvisation by three french organists-composers in the 20th century: Charles Tournemire, Olivier Messiaen and Thierry Escaich.

    In Amsterdam, Charlotte also studied harpsichord with Menno van Delft and she was willing to study a third instrument, the clavichord, what she did first as an autodidact.

    Because of her interest to connect these three keyboard instruments - organ, harpsichord and clavichord -, Charlotte moved once again to Hamburg in October 2010, to study in parallel these three instruments in a new Master’s program called “ Claviorganum ”. She received the Master Diploma “ Claviorganum ” in July 2012 with the highest results.

    In France and abroad, her main teachers were Aline Zylberajch, Laure Morabito, Bibiane Lapointe and Menno van Delft for the harpsichord, as well as Menno van Delft for the clavichord, Martin Gester, Frédéric Michel, Menno van Delft and Carsten Lohff for the thorough-bass, Françoise Dornier, Michel Bouvard, Pieter van Dijk and Wolfgang Zerer for the organ.

    During her study, she also took parts in various academies of early music, such like Sablé, Urbino (Italy) and Dieppe, where she studied with Françoise Lengellé and Laura Alvini - fortepiano and clavichord -.

    Through master-classes and academies of organ interpretation or improvisation, she had opportunities to study with Thierry Escaich, Wolfgang Seifen, Vincent Warnier, Olivier Latry and Hans-Ola Ericsson.

    As a composer, after taking parts in two specialized sessions in the 17th century music  - composition, counterpoint, study of treaties, improvisation, rhetoric - which was organized by the Britten School in Périgueux, she rearranged, upon the request of Gerard Geay, the orchestral parts of the Campra's Grand Dixit Dominus for the editions of the “ Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles ” in 2003 - published in 2008 by the CMBV -.

    For compositions as well as for performances, she was very young a prize winner in several international competitions.

    In 2003, she was a prize winner of the Musical Festival of Autumn in Paris for the Young Interpreters (FMAJI) in harpsichord. 

     As for the organ, she received a first medal at the competition of U.F.A.M. (French Union of the Artists Musicians) in April 2005, and she also was a finalist of the first “ Duruflé-Litaize International Organ Competition ” in Paris in 2006, and of the International “ Gottfried-Silbermann ” Competition in Freiberg in 2009. In June 2011, she received the “ Flentrop Prize ” (Second Prize) during the International Organ Competition " Grand Prix d'ECHO " in Alkmaar (NL). In September 2013, she received the Second Prize ex aequo - first prize not awarded - during the “ Paul Hofhaimer International Organ Competition ” in Innsbruck (Austria). In addition, she received the title of “ Young ECHO Organist of the Year 2013 ”.

    In 2008, Charlotte Marck was a winner of the Bleustein-Blanchet's foundation in Paris. 

    As a composer, her first piece for organ, Messe sur l'Ave Maris Stella, is ordered by the festival " L'Orgue en Fête ”, in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne,  premiered on August the 15th, 2005; she received a grant from SACEM for this composition.

    As for her other pieces, she received different prizes :

   - In 2006, the Second Prize, Prize of the Marcelle and Robert De Lacour 's Foundation during the First International Competition for Composition for Poème d'une nuit d'orage, according to Lord Byron, premiered by the composer as a part of the prestigious « Festival du Comminges » ;

   - In 2007, the Prize of the Marcelle and Robert De Lacour 's Foundation for Diptyque for harpsichord, oboe, violin, cello, premiered during the “Festival Opus 27” of Auvers sur Oise ;

   - In 2009, another Prize during the third International Composition Competition in Kampen (NL) for Deux danses pour Grand-Orgue, premiered by the composer ;

   - In 2011, the First Prize at the International Composition Competition for the Van Covelens’ organ of the St-Laurence’s church in Alkmaar (NL) for Jadis et Naguère, according to Paul Verlaine. Charlotte Marck premiered the piece during the final round of the International Organ Competition “Grand-Prix d’Echo” in June 2011.

  - In 2013, the Second Prize at the International Marcelle & Robert De Lacour’s Composition Competition for the harpsichord, for Sept épîtres poétiques - small orchestra and solo harpsichord -, according to Jean Paul Richter’s Konjectural Biographie (1798). The piece was premiered at the Singer-Polignac’s foundation in December 2013 by the ensemble “ Le Balcon ”.

    Charlotte Marck has been a member of the SACEM since November 2006.

    As a soloist and chambrer music performer, she likes playing all repertoires, from Renaissance period to modern music.

    Charlotte Marck had many opportunities to play as a soloist in several Concertos, including J.S. Bach's fifth Brandenburg Concerto, F. Poulenc's Concert Champêtre and M. De Falla's Concerto, which were conducted by Martin Lebel, Sebastien Billard and François-Xavier Roth (with his orchestra : " Les Siècles "). In addition, she was a soloist in the performance of contemporary music (Michel Merlet, Roger Boutry) and in chamber music performance of H. Dutilleux's Les Citations, and B. Martinù's Promenades.

    Charlotte Marck was invited to play as the guest at the Festivals " L'Orgue en Fête " of Villeneuve sur Yonne, " Bach en Combrailles " and Chartres’ cathedral in France, " Reincken Festival " in Deventer, St-Laurence church in Alkmaar, Osterkerk, Nieuwekerk and Orgelpark - concert around her own pieces for organ, harpsichord and ensemble - in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Hollern and Stade - Schnitger organs - in Germany.

    Since 2005, she performed with her Ensemble Les Ondes, whose Artistic Director she is. The Ensemble Les Ondes is now specialized on North-Europa repertoire, from the XVth to XVIIIth century, opened to today’s music. This chamber music ensemble is centered around three keyboard instruments: the organ, the harpsichord and the clavichord.

    She also accompanied operas on the harpsichord : J. Haydn’s L'Infedelta delusa during the project " Génération Baroque " conducted by Martin Gester and a few musicians of the “ Parlement de Musique ” in Strasbourg in April 2008 ; G.F. Haendel’s Teseo - six performances - with the Cythara's ensemble, conducted by Rudolf Kelber and singers of the “ Hochschule für Musik und Theater ” in Hamburg.

    In addition to concerts, her professional experience is extending :

 - to teaching :  in 2007, she received, first of the promotion, the " Diplôme d'Etat pour l'enseignement de la musique " (State french B-diploma as a music teacher) and in 2015, the Master of pedagogy as well as “ the Certificat d’Aptitude à l’enseignement ” (highest State french diploma as a music teacher) ending the pedagogical formation at CNSMDP ; her second research work focuses on the contributions of clavichord practice for performing organ and harpsichord.

 - to liturgic organist, as a substitute-organist in several churches in Paris, then titular-organist at the lutheran church De Nieuwe Stadt and co-titular at the jansenist's church Sint-Petrus en Paulus in Amsterdam between 2008 and 2010 ; 

  1. -to choir conducting - conductor of the yiddish choir Toch from 2008 to 2010.

    Since September 2016, Charlotte Marck is harpsichord and thorough-bass teacher (full-time) at Nice’s conservatoire.

Many thanks to Mina Choi, who helped for this translation!