biografy of benjamin righetti

"Thirty-something gifted and imaginative (Le Temps, Geneva), "one of the most brilliant organists of his generation" (Musical Review, Suisse Romande), "an immensely talented performer" (Diapason Music Magazine), Benjamin Righetti is titular organist at the Church of Saint-Francois, Lausanne and organist-in-residence at the historic concert hall in the city of Bern (the ‘Kultur-Casino’). He also holds the posts of Professor of Organ at the Lausanne Conservatoire and at the University of Music Lausanne (HEMU Vaud Valais Fribourg).

Born in Switzerland in 1982, he discovered a passion for keyboard instruments at a young age – first for piano, organ and harpsichord and later including clavichord and fortepiano. A musician of wide interests, it is on the ‘king of instruments’ that Benjamin Righetti first achieved international recognition. Between 2002 and 2007 he won awards at some of the most prestigious competitions for organists throughout the world – first the Swiss National Organ Competition, then Musica Antiqua Bruges, Musashino Competition Tokyo, 1st Prize at the Silbermann in Freiberg, the Audience Award at the Chartres contest and the Grand Prix d’Orgue from the City of Paris.

His career has since developed as he divides his time between appearances as concert soloist throughout Europe and beyond and a busy schedule as teacher and recording artist. Among Benjamin’s several hundred concerts to date, notable highlights have included performances in Notre Dame Cathedral Paris on the day of its 25th birthday, the Toulouse Organ Festival over several years, the millennium celebrations of Chartres Cathedral, as soloist with the celebrated Swiss Romande Orchestra at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Victoria Hall Geneva, at the closing concert of the Bach Festival in Freiburg Cathedral, for the 800th concert in the Martinkerk Groningen, and in cathedral and church recitals in Spain (Seville and Barcelona) and Italy (Parma and Messina).

Benjamin’s three CD recordings issued so far (by the label K617) have been greeted by universal critical acclaim – from his 2010 disc of Bach’s Trio Sonatas for organ recorded on three Swiss instruments, through his own virtuoso arrangement for organ of Liszt’s Sonata in B minor (with Missa Choralis from the Academie Vocale de Swisse Romande), to his most recent release (in 2013) which brings the parallel combination of Chorales by Cesar Franck and Brahms. The reviews speak for themselves: “interpretations distinguished by freshness and clarity . . . a very mature account . . . the effect is stunning . . beautiful interpretation that will not disappoint anyone . . .the result is simply spectacular . . . lyricism prevails in phrasing of rare perfection . . .”