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MARCEL GRANDJANY  

(1891 - 1975)

Born in Paris in 1891, the harpist Marcel Grandjany had his early musical training with a relative, Juliette Georges Grandjany, winning a scholarship at the age of eight to study the harp with Henriette Renié. A year later he started classes of solfège at the Conservatoire, where, from 1902 until 1910, he was a pupil of Alphonse Hasselmans. He made his Paris début with the Concerts Lamoureux Orchestra in 1909, and after a relatively brief period of military service was from 1915 to 1918 organist and choirmaster at the Sacré-Coeur Basilica.

His connection with America came with a period of fourteen years as a teacher at the American Conservatoire at Fontainebleau, and, after his London début in 1922, his first appearance in New York two years later. He toured widely in Europe and North America and was co-founder of the Quintette Instrumental de Paris, for which composers such as Vincent d’Indy and Albert Roussel wrote works. From 1936 he made his home in America, taking out American citizenship in 1945. He taught at the Manhattan School and from 1938 at the Juilliard School as well as for some time also in Montreal. Distinguished as a performer and as a teacher, he also wrote a quantity of music for the harp, all of it well suited to the instrument, including original compositions and transcriptions. 

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