Xavier Darasse and Toulouse les Orgues

Xavier Darasse was born in Toulouse in 1934. Passionate musician, organist, composer and teacher, he used his extraordinary energy to lure the organ out its dusty chapel.

Strong in the conviction that the organ is public property, not a private instrument, in the 1970s he convinced the city council to restore and appreciate the true value of its organ heritage. Thus, it was in 1976 that Pierre Baudis, mayor of Toulouse, committed to restoring the numerous instruments and constructing the organ of the musée des Augustins.

In 1995, Michel Bouvard and Jan Willem Jansen wished to follow the work of Xavier Darasse, who had passed away in 1992. Around this time the restoration of the Cavaillé-Coll organ of Saint Sernin was coming to its end, and Toulouse city council asked the two to mark the inauguration. The idea developed, and the first International Festival Toulouse les Orgues took place in 1996.