Long biography

Born May 22, 1942 in Thoune, Switzerland. According to Swiss law however, official documents mention the family’s town of citizenship, Neuchâtel.

Early musical training in Bern with Jeanne Bovet, a student of Alfred Cortot ; advanced musical studies at the Geneva Conservatory under Pierre Segond . Further private studies in Paris with Marie-Claire Alain. Other teachers include Frank Martin (composition), André Luy, and Marie Dufour (organ).

Winner of numerous international competitions in organ playing, improvisation and composition between 1962 and 1970.

 

Teaching activities: Geneva Conservatory 1962-1964, guest professor at many European and American universities. Longer-term teaching assignments : University of Western Ontario (1976 / 77), University of  Oregon (1980 – 1982), Drake University (1983), Southern Methodist University, Dallas (Distinguished Visiting Professor in 1984), Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (1986), University of Salamanca, Spain (1978 – 1999), Conservatory of Bologna (Italy).

Permanent teaching position at the Music Academy in Basle, Switzerland, from 1989 to 2008.

Independent concert career since 1962 ; about 75 recitals a year in the whole world. Judge at  important international organ competitions.

 

Founded the Romainmôtier Organ Academy in 1970, an independent teaching institution. The Academy includes the house organ of the Alain family, which inspired many of Jehan Alain’s organ works, and the 3-manual house organ of Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, donated in 2018.

 

Compositions include over 250 opus numbers : stage and movies, organ music, symphonic and chamber music. Publications by several companies throughout the world.

Editor of the organ journal « La Tribune de l’Orgue » publications in most organ journals in Europe and America. Publisher of Correa de Arauxo’s “Facultad Organica” with translations of the treatise in French, German, English and Japanese, of original music for three or four organs (Doblinger in Vienna), and of works by Spanish composer José Lidon.

 

Worked on a UNESCO project (earlier supported by the Swiss government foundation PRO HELVETIA) of cataloging all Hispanic historical instruments in Mexico. A similar project was carried out for the Brazilian government.

 

Guy Bovet’s discography includes over 50 recordings, most of which for the Swiss company GALLO, and on historical instruments of Switzerland, Spain, Mexico, France, and on a Wurlitzer theater organ in Geneva. Several of his recordings were awarded prizes.

 

President of the Swiss Organist’s Society from 1968 to 1980. Member of the Swiss Council for preservation of historical instruments. Artistic director of several concert societies and organ festivals.

 

From 1988 to 2008, he held the position of City Organist and Organist at the Collegiate Church in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He was awarded honorary doctorates from the Universities of Neuchâtel and Warsaw (Poland). He is honorary citizen of the city of Dallas, Texas, and laureate of the 2007 Prize of the Institute of Neuchâtel. In several occasions, he was decorated by the Japanese and Filippino governments for his pedagogical activities.