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Marcel Tournier

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Biography

Marcel Lucien Tournier (January 5, 1879 – May 8, 1951) was a French harpist, composer, and pedagogue who composed important solo repertory for the harp that expanded the technical and harmonic possibilities of the instrument. His works are regularly performed in concert and recorded by professional harpists, and they are often test pieces for harp-performance competitions. A student of Alphonse Hasselmans at the Paris Conservatory, Tournier won the Second Grand Prize of the Prix de Rome in 1909. He also won the Rossini Prize for Laura et Petrarch.

Tournier succeeded his teacher as professor of harp in 1912, holding that position until 1948, training two generations of harpists from France, the United States, other European countries, and Japan. Tournier composed several dozen solos for harp, a number of chamber works that feature the harp prominently, and a few works for piano and for orchestra. Notable students include American harpist and educator Eileen Malone.

Born to a family of five brothers and two sisters on January 5, 1879, Tournier grew up around music. His father, Joseph Alexis (1842–1920), was a string instrument maker and required all of his sons to play an instrument. Tournier started young and soon became very proficient and entered the Paris Conservatoire at age 16.
His wife, Renée Lénars-Tournier (1889–1971), was professor of chromatic harp at the Paris Conservatory from 1912 to 1933. They were married in 1922.

Works
La Roussalka (1909)
Deux Preludes Romaniques (1909)
Monde du Feeries (1912)
Promenade a L’automne (1912)

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