Louis Thiry was born in Fléville, near Nancy, on 15 February 1935. He is now honorary professor of organ at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Rouen. He studied with André Marchal at the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles (National Institute for Blind Children) and Rolande Falcinelli at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris. There he won a Premier Prix for organ in 1958. He divides his time between teaching and concerts, radio broadcasts, phonographic recordings and participation in numerous festivals in France and abroad.
He started his career as an organist in Baccarat in 1958, on an instrument recommended to him by Gaston Litaize, whose student and later friend he was. He then moved to Metz, where he became resident organist of the church of Saint-Martin. There he began his teaching activities, giving organ lessons to a number of students who went on to have prestigious careers, including Norbert Pétry and Bernard-Marie Koltès. In 1972 he was appointed professor of organ at the Rouen Conservatoire. Many of his students there also embarked on successful musical careers, among them Alain Mabit, Jean-Marie Colin, Jean-Luc Étienne, Jean-Marc Leblanc, François Ménissier, Céline Frisch and Benjamin Alard.
Louis Thiry’s repertory extends from the thirteenth to the twenty-first centuries. His curiosity has frequently led him to explore little-known composers, especially in the fields of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music. He is particularly interested in contemporary organ music, regularly performing works by Jean-Pierre Leguay, Pierre Vidal and Alain Mabit, whose Night Song he premiered. He has also worked extensively on the organ works of Olivier Messiaen, which he has helped to promote in numerous recitals throughout the world. In 1990, it was from Messiaen’s hands that he received the insignia of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite.
Louis Thiry is an honorary member of the Académie des Sciences, Belles Lettres et Arts de Rouen.