French composer, harpist and teacher Marcel Tournier was born into a musical family in Paris on 5 June 1879. He learned to play the harp when very young and began studying at the Paris Conservatoire when he was sixteen, studying with Alphonse Hasselmans and winning, in 1909, the Second Grand Prize of the Prix de Rome.
He succeeded Hasselmans as professor of harp, training two generations of American, European and Japanese harpists between 1912 and 1948.
As a composer, his output was focused on the harp, with a series of solos for the instrument which extended the instrument's possibilities, both technically and harmonically, and which are played regularly by professional standard harpists. He also wrote some chamber works featuring the harp, and music for piano and for orchestra.
Marcel Tournier died in Paris on 18 May 1951, aged seventy-one. (Some sources give his date of death as 8 May 1951 or 12 June 1951.)
Ensemble. In Full Command - British harpist Lucy Nolan plays music by Marcel Tournier, Benjamin Britten, Sally Beamish, Paul Patterson, Tsvetlina Likova and Astor Piazzolla, heard by Mike Wheeler
Record Box - The born and stillborn - Harping on, with Basil Ramsey