Based in Montréal, Canada since 2004, Dr. Alexandra Fol (b. 1981) is one of the first ever Bulgarian professional organists. Growing up playing the piano, she only saw an organ for the first time in the year 2000, upon arriving in Boston, to study composition. Her teachers include Julian Wachner (organ and improvisation) and James David Christie (organ), William Porter (improvisation), and David Higgs (organ).
Fol specializes exclusively in commissioning and performing late 20th and 21st-century organ music. Since 2002 she has premiered and given repeated performances of works by Richard Cornell, Scott Perking, Leonid Iogansen, Daniel Pesca, Chris Otto, Christopher Cody Coyne (USA), Alcides Lanza, Thierry Tidrow, Trevor Grahl, Jean Lesage, Norbert Palej, Clio Monterey, Vanessa Marcoux (Canada), Peter Bjuhr (Sweden), Jarkko Hartikainen (Finland), Michal Raymond Massoud (aka Novotny, Lebanon) and others.
Alexandra Fol combines her activities as composer and organist to better promote contemporary music. She has performed as composer-organist and organ improviser at the Cluster Festival in Winnipeg (2011). Les Amis de l’Orgue de Montréal (2015) and at the Oratoire Saint-Joseph (2018), where she programmed mostly underrepresented female composers, and at the “Days of Yambol” Festival in Bulgaria (2019) and had a tour of Finland in 2022, where she promoted Canadian contemporary music.
In 2016 she released a bilingual book and two CDs with contemporary music for voice and organ with her long-time musical partner, baritone Jean-Pierre Couturier. The project includes her cycle Fables and her arrangement of Frank Martin’s “Jedermann” and Charles Yves’ Four songs cycles for organ. Martin’s cycle and Alfredo Casella’s Tre Canti sacri were Canadian and Bulgarian premiers.
Couturier and Fol toured the Fables cycle in Canada, the US, France, and Bulgaria, and have since released another CD with contemporary music, La Passione secondo Giovanni (2018), where Fol is featured as composer, organist, and singer.
In 2019-2020 Fol undertook a project aiming to bring contemporary organ music to worship services. Her cycle Interludes for organ, uniting sponsors from the US and Canada, which she premiered in February 2020 is endorsed by the Diocese of Montréal Office of Pastoral Services as an instrumental suggestion for the 2020 Lenten season.
Dr. Alexandra Fol lives and works in Montréal. She has served on the boards of LAUDEM, the Association of Liturgical musicians of Canada, and the Montréal Chapter of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Since 2016 she plays the organ at the largest annual religious gathering in Québec, the Italian pilgrimage at the Oratoire Saint-Joseph, administered by the Conference of Italian Priests. She has played and conducted one of the largest Catholic missions in Canada, Mission Marie-Auxiliatrice-de-Rivière-des-Prairies. Today, she serves as organist at the St James United Church in the downtown cultural district of Montréal, the Quartier des spectacles.
Alexandra Fol: https://alexandrafol.wordpress.com/
Interludes for Organ, my most recent performance; Sanctuaire Marie-Reine-des-Coeurs in Montréal for the Lenten liturgical session of the Diocese of Montréal https://soundcloud.com/alexandrafol/interludes-pour-orgue-2018
Improvisation on a theme given by an audience member (take a sheet out of a hat): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W66SyhmpVEE
Performing Norbert Palej, Fuga in 7 voices: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbw1C3T4-xw
Example from the latest CD; Salve Regina by Alexandra Fol. Jean-Pierre Couturier, baritone, Alexandra Fol, organ : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r21xjgY5O-0
Archive of the Fables book, CD, etc tour in 2016: https://fables2016.wordpress.com/
Performing Daniel Pesca, Paradoxes and Oxymorons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpgyOceXpPc
European distributor of La Passione CD: https://www.libreriadelsanto.it/cd/2483300000181/la-passione-secondo-giovanni.html