Organist and composer
Born in Belgium in 1964, Benoît Mernier studied organ with Firmin Decerf, Jean Ferrard, Joris Verdin and Jean Boyer. He has also studied harpsichord with Charles Koenig. He performs regularly as a soloist in several European countries, Japan, Mexico and Canada. One of his recordings was awarded the “Grand Prix de l’Académie du disque Charles Cros”.
Benoît Mernier is also a composer. In this respect, he has benefited from the teaching of Philippe Boesmans. His works are played by a lot of ensembles and orchestras in Europe and the United States. He has won several international prizes and his works have been the subject of several recordings (Cyprès: www.cypres-records.com), including his first opera “Frühlings Erwachen” which was commissioned by the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. This CD and DVD production was awarded a “Diapason d’Or”.
As “Composer in Residence” at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, at the Austrian Carinthischer Sommer Festival or “Guest of Honour” at the Festival de Wallonie, he wrote the compulsory work for one of the singing sessions of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition.
The Koussevitzky Foundation and the American Library of Congress commissioned his 3rd String Quartet for the centenary of the Pro Arte Quartet, which was premiered and recorded in the United States. The Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels commissioned him to write a concerto for the inauguration of his new organ by Olivier Latry. This work was the subject of a discographic publication which earned him the Octaves de la Musique 2019 award. He orchestrated the 2nd Choral by Franck, which was highly acclaimed.
Benoît Mernier is professor of organ at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. He is also titular organist of the church Notre-Dame au Sablon and curator of the new organ at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He is a member of the Fine Arts class of the Royal Academy of Belgium and gives master classes in composition at the Queen Elizabeth Chapel.