Canadian organist John Paul Farahat leads a dual career as performer and pedagogue, committed to music performance and improvisation in all its forms through the organ and its music.
John Paul’s notable past solo concert venues include the Cathédrale Notre-Dame (Paris), Westminster Abbey (London), the Cathédrale Saint-Etienne (Toulouse), Saint Paul’s Cathedral (London), the Eglise St-Eustache (Paris), the Eglise Saint-Michel (Chamonix), the Eglise Saint-Sulpice (Paris), Coventry Cathedral (England), the University of Saint Andrews (Scotland), Trinity College (Cambridge), Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue (New York), Grace Cathedral (San Francisco), the Basilica of the National Shrine (Washington DC), Saint Patrick’s Cathedral (New York), and the Cathedral of Saint Hyacinthe (Québec). Festival performances have included the International Organ Festival Toulouse Les Orgues, the Organ Festival of Chamonix, Organ Festival Canada, as well as the ORGANIX Festival.
In addition to teaching through his private studio, John Paul is on faculty as Organ Instructor at St. Michael’s Choir School, Toronto. He has served for juries and examinations of the Royal Canadian College of Organists and is Chair of Scholarships and Bursaries. He sits on the Board of Directors as Chair of Advocacy.
Deeply passionate about the field of improvisation, John Paul authored Precomposed and Extemporized: Rediscovering the Life and Improvisatory Work of Canadian Organist Victor Togni (1935 – 1965), cataloguing hundreds of previously-unknown archival documents and connecting Togni to his teachers, including Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, Jean Langlais, Olivier Messiaen, Marcel Dupré, Roland Falcinelli, and Fernando Germani among others. Precomposed and Extemporized includes several reconstructed improvisations from historical tapes, and an analysis of the musical language and improvisatory forms of Togni, bringing to life the improvisations of Canada’s preeminent organist-improviser of the mid-20th century.
John Paul Farahat holds the post of Director of Music and Principal Organist of St. Basil’s Church, the collegiate church of the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. He conducts the fully professional Schola Cantorum as well as the Parish Choir and oversees the historic Casavant Frères organ Op. 800/2578. He further serves on the team of organists for Saint Michael’s Cathedral Basilica.
He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance degree from the University of Toronto. He studied organ, improvisation, and harpsichord with Kevin Komisaruk, and received additional instruction from Olivier Latry, Peter Williams, Martin Haselböck, Noam Sivan, and Thomas Murray. Visit www.farahat.ca for more information.