Paul Barras (1925–2017) — Hymne (from Petite suite symphonique) (2006) for organ
Belgian composer and organist Paul Barras (1925–2017), blind from birth, entered the Royal Institute for the Blind of Woluwé-St-Lambert at age 7 where he began his musical studies. He later enrolled at the Lemmens Institute where he studied organ with Flor Peeters, followed by study at the Conservatory of Antwerp where he was one of the first interpreters of the organ music of Messiaen. He also studied improvisation with André Marchal and Jean Langlais. In 1952 Barras won First Prize in the Munich International Organ Competition. In 1958 he began teaching at the Royal Institute for the Blind and in 1967 became organist at L’église du Divin Sauveur à Woluwé-St-Lambert, installing an organ and developing an international organ academy and recital series. During his teaching career, he also taught at the Brussels Conservatory and the Academy of Woluwé-St-Lambert. Barras retired from teaching in 1988, though remained active as a composer and performer, continuing to write music into his late 80s.