One of the last of her generation, and a pupil of Dupré and Duruflé, passes away at 86.

Gifted with a phenomenal memory that allowed her to perform substantial scores from memory, Marie-Claire Alain had a wide repertoire of music, from the Baroque to works by her contemporaries. A respected teacher, she also found time for the ‘studio’ leaving behind a legacy of several hundred recordings.

Marie-Claire Alain was the youngest in a family of highly distinguished musicians. Her father, Albert Alain had been a pupil of Guilmant, Vierne and Fauré, while her oldest brother was the composer and organist Jehan Alain. The loss of her brother in combat during WWII affected Marie-Claire profoundly.

Alain made her debut in Saint-Germain-en-Laye at the age of 11. She went on to  study at the Paris Conservatoire from 1944 with Marcel Dupré as her organ teacher and Maurice Duruflé teaching her harmony. While at the Conservatoire she carried off four Premier Prix. She made her formal debut in Paris in 1950, going on to win the Geneva International Competition and the Bach Prize from the Amis de Orgue.

During a distinguished career she gave more than 2,000 recitals worldwide. She was a prolific touring...