The organ was built in 1805 by Louis Lair, organ builder in Le Mans and pupil of Parisot (Saint-Martin-Mondaye). The instrument was completely destroyed in 1793 during the French Revolution. When peace was restored, an organ with 3 supports dating from the 1st half of the 17th century was purchased. The organ builder enlarged the chest, placed a positive organ and created an instrument with some 30 different stops.Today’s organ retains the original chest and 17 stops which have been classified as historic monument.

In 1990, using the research carried out by Father Jehan, the Priest of Carentan, the organ builders Boisseaux and Cattiaux of Béthines (86) rebuilt a classical French organ of 37 stops around the original pipes.

Thanks to its 4 keyboards and traditional mecanics, it is possible to render fine interpretations of 17th and 18th centuries French music and many other repertoires on this mighty 8 footer. The organ, renowed for the richness of its tone, is set in the magnificent church of Notre-Dame. The church was built in the Gothic Flamboyant style in the 15th century and was consecrated in 1470. The nave was rebuilt on the remains of a 12th century church. Notre-Dame still retains 14 exceptional stained glass windows from the 15th century. The apse which is typical of anglo-norman architecture is enclosed by a Renaissance gate (1550). The retable above the High Altar dates from 1655 and several 17th century paintings hang over the side altars.




Nestling on the edge of the “Baie des Veys”, 4 kilometres  from the Channel  to which the town is linked by a canal which has enabled the creation of a port for pleasure boats, Carentan is a quiet rural town. The rivers Taute and Douve converge around the town and give rise to the particular charm of the Marais. The name “Carentan” comes from the celtic “Ker” (dwelling place) and “Dun” (high ground), that is to say “the dwelling place on the high ground”. The inhabitants of Crociatonum (St Côme du Mont),  driven by the Barbarian warbands moved down the valley and founded “Ker Dun which became “Kerenten“, “Karentan“, “Carenten” and finally “Carentan“. On June 12 th 1944, the town (defended by the F.J.Regt.6, Major von der Heydte, “the Tigers of Carentan”) was liberated by the American paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division after violent fighting (one of the most difficult battles in the history of this divison!). However, the town has the good fortune to have retained a rich architectural heritage (an 18th century wash house, private mansions, a medieval arcade and a particulary fine 15th century church).




The course is taught and run by Erwan LePrado, Grand Prix d’Interprétation at Chartres Competition, prize winner at the international competitions in Biarritz, Luzern, St Albans, Geneva; a former pupil of Michel Chapuis, André Isoir et Marie-Claire Alain. Erwan LePrado, concert organist, organ teacher at the Caen Conservatoire, is the guest of numerous juries in France and abroad. He also teaches in organ academies or Masterclasses, notably during Summer residencies for organists at Oundle, Cambridge and Oxford in England.


This academy is brought to you with the support of the town of Carentan, by the Friends of the Organ Association, which organises, each Summer “the Marshes of Carentan musical evenings”.




The course which is devoted to the study of French classical composers is open to any organist wishing to discover or to improve this repertoire. The 2014 academy offers the opportunity to study also the german baroque music with lessons at the Lessay Abbey and Vire Notre-Dame church and to practice the harmonization and improvisation in German and French baroque style.  


  • Sunday      24th August : 2:00 pm, welcome meeting for participants at      Notre-Dame church; lessons start at 3:00 pm.
  •  From      Sunday 24th until Sunday 31th  August: master-class every day with      Erwan Le Prado.
  • Sunday      31th  August : playing      organ by participants during the morning service at Notre-Dame de      Carentan.
  • Sunday      31th : closing concert given by participants at 6:00 pm.
  •  Lunchtime      is devoted to a convivial meal in restaurant.
  • Practice      time every day in Carentan and in some other churches in the neighborhood.     

Visit and cours at Lessay abbey (J.F. Dupont organ), Vire Notre-Dame church (Béthines-les-orgues)...




French Classic :

N. de Grigny : Livre d’orgue

F.Couperin : les 2 messes

J.A.Guilain : Livre d’orgue

L.Marchand : Livres d’orgue

L.N. Clérambault : les 2 suites


Other French classical works may eventually be proposed by participants if the timetable permits.


German Baroque :

Works by Bach, Buxtehude, Muffat, Froberger...






Email : academieorguedecarentan@hotmail.fr

Tel/fax : 02 31 51 91 62

Acces by train : SNCF line Paris Saint-Lazare - Cherbourg

Gare de Carentan




Two levels are proposed :

1. Active Participant : 240 euros

(including daily lessons + practice time every day on the organs + lunch). 

2. Auditor : 150 euros

(including listening to daily lessons + playing during some lessons if possible + lunch).

Accommodation 7 nights in boarding school including breakfast :  + 95 euros.

Inscription possible until 31 July 2014.

The Academy is organized from the Sunday 24 August until the Sunday 31 August.



Ø      Surname :

Ø      First name :

Ø      Date of birth :

Ø      Address :


Ø      Telephone :

Ø      Email :

Ø      Instrumental experience:

Ø      Pupil of________________ music

 school or Conservatoire

Ø      Level attained :

Ø      Particularities :

Ø      Active Participant or Initiation and Auditor


The enrolment form should be sent before the 31 July 2014 to :

Association “Les Amis de l’Orgue”

3 place Guillaume de Cerisay

50500 Carentan-France


The enrolment form should be sent with a deposit of 100€ which cannot be refunded in the event of non-participation. The remainder is payable on arrival.





Erwan Le Prado was born in 1978 and began studying music at the Conservatoire de Caen (France). He continued his studies with Pierre Pincemaille and André Isoir in Paris. At age 15, he was admitted the first to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris where he studied with Michel Chapuis and Olivier Latry. There he not only won first prizes in Organ and Continuo playing but also, after studying with Loïc Mallié, Thierry Escaich and Marie-Claire Alain, in Organ Improvisation, Harmony, Counterpoint, Fugue and 20th century composition.

Erwan Le Prado has made a name for himself in numerous international organ competitions : prize winner in  Biarritz, Luzern, St Alban’s, he won the Prix J.S. Bach in Chartres (1996). In 1999 he won first prize at the Concours International Suisse in Genève and, in September 2000, he his the winner of the prestigious Grand Prix de Chartres Interprétation by unanimous decision and of the Audience Prize too.

He has given numerous recitals throughout Europe and other continents : Japan, USA, Canada, South Africa, South America…. He is engaged by several International Festivals and appears in very famous places : Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Westminster Abbey in London, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, Geneva’s Victoria Hall (with the Suisse Romande Orchestra conducted by Fabio Luisi), Philharmonia of Varsaw (with the philharmonic orchestra conducted by Antoni Wit), Forbidden City Concert Hall of Beijing (with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tan Lihua )… He is invited abroad to give master-classes (Stellenbosch and Bloemfontein University in South-Africa, National University of Bogota in Columbia, Tokorozawa Concert Hall in Japan, Oundle International Summer School in UK…), and also as jury member (International Organ Competition of St-Albans, Nürnberg International Organ Competition especially…). He has made radio broadcasts in France and abroad and recorded a CD recital at Radio-France in Paris.

Erwan Le Prado has been teaching for many years organ interpretation and improvisation and composition. He is now the organ teacher at the Caen Conservatoire and organist titulaire at the famous Cavaillé-Coll in Abbatiale Saint-Etienne of Caen and at the historistical Parizot (1746) organ in Notre-Dame of Guibray in Falaise.


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