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george baker us agent for orgues cattiaux

To Dr. Baker's website

E-mail: orguescattiauxusa@gmail.com

Dr. George Baker of Dallas, Texas is extremely pleased to be the USA representative for Orgues Bertrand Cattiaux of Liourdres, France. (contact)

Baker has a great love for the French organ and its literature, from Titelouze to Messiaen and beyond. He has a special knowledge of and fondness for the organs of the great 19th-century builder, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, and he has made several recordings on some of the greatest Cavaillé-Coll organs in France, including St-Sulpice in Paris, St-Ouen de Rouen and St-Sernin de Toulouse. Bertrand Cattiaux and his talented team of organbuilders can deliver a new organ in the true French style, not just an approximation. And indeed, it is this reason why Dr. Baker is so excited about the prospects of working with the Cattiaux firm. Baker has been the consultant for several important organ projects, and he has worked as an ad hoc advisor with some of the country’s finest organbuilding firms. His knowledge of the vast organ literature enables him to design an instrument with maximum flexibility, given the constraints of the organ’s size and scope.

George Baker has received training with some of the finest organ teachers of the twentieth-century.  He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University under Robert Anderson, after which he traveled to Paris as a Rotary Foundation Educational Scholar to study with Marie-Claire Alain, Pierre Cochereau, Jean Langlais and André Marchal.  During his time in France, Baker earned the Prix de Virtuosité with Mention Maximum from the Schola Cantorum, under Langlais.  Ultimately, he returned to the United States where he earned a Master of Music degree on full scholarship from the University of Miami, a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan, and taught at Catholic University in Washington D.C. before deciding to undertake the challenge of becoming a medical doctor.  Although he obtained his M.D. and became a dermatologist, Dr. Baker never ceased performing, composing, teaching and recording. Music remains the chief passion of his life.

In his early years as a musician, George Baker won first prizes by unanimous jury decisions in several major organ competitions including the American Guild of Organists (Buffalo, 1970), the Grand Prix de Chartres (Chartres, France, 1974) and the International Improvisation Competition (Lyon, France, 1979).  His recording credits include the complete organ works of J. S. Bach (1979, the first by an American) and the complete organ works of Louis Vierne (world premiere recording, released in 1994, a project he shared with Pierre Cochereau).  He has been awarded three French Grand Prix du Disque, two of which were for The Complete Organ Works of Darius Milhaud.  In 1995, the eight CD Vierne set won the coveted Grand Prix Spécial du Jury from the Nouvelle Académie du Disque Français. In 2000, the same recording won a critic’s choice award from American Record Guide.

George Baker’s compositions, published by H. T. Fitzsimmons, Fred Bock Music and Gentry Publications, have been performed both in the United States and in Europe.  Dr. Baker has served on juries in several prestigious organ competitions including the Grand Prix de Chartres in 2000 and in 2004. Special areas of interest include the music of Louis Vierne, Jean Langlais and Maurice Duruflé (whom Baker interviewed in 1979), improvisation in the French style, and the organ building of F.-H. Clicquot and A. Cavaillé-Coll.  Baker is also in demand as a consultant for organ building and restoration projects.

Dr. George Baker began his teaching career while still a student at SMU. After returning from France, he taught for two years at the University of Michigan as a doctoral teaching fellow. For two years, 1979-1981, he was Chairman of the Organ Department at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., where he taught organ, improvisation, organ literature, and keyboard harmony.  Even as a medical student and resident (1983-1991), Baker continued to teach organ lessons, coach competition participants, compose, and make recordings. In spring 1997, he taught the organ students at SMU, during the sabbatical of Dr. Larry Palmer. For several years afterwards, he taught improvisation and service-playing at SMU. Today he continues to coach private students at various churches around the Dallas area.

Currently, at Southern Methodist University, he serves as Associate University Organist. In 2003, Naxos released Volume 13 of The Organ Works of Marcel Dupré, recorded on the restored and enlarged Perkins Chapel organ at SMU, an organ for which Baker served as consultant. In 2007, he recorded a CD of organ music by his master and mentor, Jean Langlais. This recording, made on the great Cavaillé-Coll organ at St-Sernin de Toulouse in France (www.solstice-music.com), has received international acclaim.

George Baker first appeared on the roster of Karen McFarlane Artists (www.concertorganists.com) as a young artist, to which he has returned at the beginning of the new millennium.  He was a featured artist at the 2004 AGO National Convention in Los Angeles. He played his first public organ concert in 1964, and since then, he has played hundreds of concerts in the USA, France, Germany, and Italy, including multiple concerts at Notre-Dame de Paris, France.

Current as of April 17, 2009
george baker with cocherau 1984
Dr. George Baker (left) with Pierre Cocherau in 1984.