Pierre Grandmaison has been the titulair organist of the Notre-Dame Basilica since 1973.
Born in Montreal, he studied piano at the École Vincent-D’Indy (in Outremont) and, concurrently, studied the organ with Eugène Lapierre and François Aubut. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from the Université de Montréal in 1970.
That same year, he was awarded a grant from the Quebec government and went to Paris to study the organ with Maurice and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé. Upon his return he gave several recitals and became the assistant organist at the churches of Saint-Thomas-Apôtre, Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire and Saint-Alphonse-d’Youville before becoming the regular organist of the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, in 1973.
At the Basilica, his schedule is packed since he accompanies around 400 celebrations every year: weddings, funerals, masses ... He also wants to share his passion for the organ by welcoming the many visitors of the Basilica to participate in the activity, Take a Seat at the Organ. In 2004, he founded the Grand Organ Festival, which hosts unique performances from prestigious organists every summer.
In addition to his activities, he has performed several times at Notre-Dame de Paris (in 1978 and 1982), and in July 2007, he was commissioned to play at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice to Quebec.
In 1990, he was the official organist for the Gray Nuns, during the celebrations of Ste-Marguerite d'Youville's canonization in Rome, which included playing at St-Peter's Basilica.
As a composer, he wrote an oratorio (Plénitude et Résonances) and four masses including Missa Cantate Domino, for the Mass of the 375th anniversary of the founding of the city of Montreal.
Pierre Grandmaison is a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of France (1985).