version française

Laura P OTRATZ

Listen to Bach's Trio Super Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend
Listen to Litaize' Prelude et danse fuguée

Born in Iowa in 1983, Laura Potratz grew up in a house full of musical instruments and eventually chose organ, piano, voice, and viola to pursue. She studied from 1998 to 2001 at the Lutheran Summer Music Academy, adding courses in liturgical music and hymnody. In 2005 she earned a Bachelors degree in organ performance magna cum laude with a minor in studio art from Valparaiso University, Indiana, USA.

Her studies there included three months abroad in Paris working with the Dalsbaek-Merklin organ builders on the restoration of the 1855 Merklin & Schütze organ at the church of St-Eugène-Ste-Cécile. Upon her return to the U.S., she worked for a year and a half for organ builder Goulding & Wood in Indianapolis. She moved to Paris in 2006 to study for three years at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris in the classes of counterpoint, harmony, analysis of early music, and music history. In 2010 she completed a Certificate in organ at the regional conservatory in Boulogne-Billancourt where she also taught the introductory organ class to children. The same year she completed a Maîtrise at the University of Paris-Sorbonne researching the state of François-Henri Clicquot's 18th century visual organ treatise. In 2012 she completed a Master of Music and Musicology studying the use of visual colors in the scores of Pierre Boulez' Tombeau, Thomas Adès' Darkness Visible, and Naji Hakim's Sakskøbing Præludier.

In 2013 she earned her professional diploma (French DEM) in organ under Eric Lebrun at the conservatory in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés while also a voice student of Milanese vocal coach Matteo Carminati and a member of the Sebastian Wesley vocal ensemble and the Bach Collegium Paris. She spent several years as the assistant to the organist at the Reformed Church of St. Esprit and at the American Church in Paris where she was also a member of the Bronze Ringers handbell ensemble. From 2010 to 2013 she was professor of piano and musicianship at the conservatory in Ézanville (Val d'Oise).

Laura is currently Music Director at University Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA), and works for Grandall & Engen, LLC tuning, repairing, and rebuilding pipe organs. She sings with the Minnesota Chorale and the Bach Society of Minnesota and rings handbells with Bells of the Lakes.

Most recent solo organ concert venues include the cathedral in Angers (France), the American Church in Paris, the French Reformed Church of St Esprit (Paris), and St. John's Basilica in Saarbrücken, Germany.

Compositions include several Christmas carols for SATB choir, short works for piano and organ, a piece for unaccompanied viola based on de Profundis, and two handbell pieces entitled Elijah Taken Up to Heaven and Like the Sun.


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updated October 2016

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