Text Box: ORGANIST autographs
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MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
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Price: $100.00

VERY GOOD CONDITION

CLAIRE COCI - ORGANIST

Autographed 7.5” x 9.25” photograph cover of a fold-over brochure for the New Orleans born organist by her husband/manager Bernard R. La Berge.  She is shown at the old console of the Cadet Chapel at West Point, where she was the first female to play the instrument in concert.

Coci (1912-1978) was one of the greatest and most original concert organists of the 20th Century.  She played her first organ at the age of 10 and by 14 was the organist of a local church in New Orleans.  She studied with Palmer Christian at the University of Michigan and then with Belgian organist Charles Courboin, the organist of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City who was a Professor at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.  She then went to Paris to study with Marcel Dupré.  The began her concert career in the 1930’s.  Coci married her manager Bernard La Berge was a happy one which ended with his early death in 1951.  She remarried and moved to Tea Neck New Jersey where she opened a private conservatory in her home.  That said, she maintained a heavy international touring schedule throughout her life.  Coci was killed in a traffic accident in Pennsylvania, she was at the wheel of the car.

Coci was more akin to Virgil Fox than E. Power Biggs.  She was known for her costumes, her Plexiglas organ bench which she used in every concert and her bright and brash performances.  Also after receiving an honorary doctorate, she self styled herself as Dr. Claire Coci. (Richard Strauss and Virgil Fox also did the same.) She also referred to herself as the World’s Greatest Female Organist.

Several works were dedicated to her including; Symphonie Elegiaca by Camil van Hulse and Toccata Giacosa for Organ by Vincent Stadlin.  Her working score library are at Gettsburg College.

Perhaps the over-riding reason Coci is not better known is she made very few recordings.  A sample of a performance at West Point can be heard on Youtube.

Central crease and a few light corner creases, but quite scarce! First we have seen!
 

 

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