Marcel Cellier

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Swiss-born Marcel Cellier was an influential folk music disc jockey, song collector, and organist for nearly four decades. The recipient of a Grammy award for his production of a field recording album,…
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Swiss-born Marcel Cellier was an influential folk music disc jockey, song collector, and organist for nearly four decades. The recipient of a Grammy award for his production of a field recording album, L'Albanie Mysterieuse, in 1990, Cellier helped to bring such virtuoso pan pipers as Gheorghe Zamfir and Dumitru Farcas to international attention. Cellier launched his weekly radio show, From the Black Sea to the Baltic, on French-Swiss radio in 1960. A highlight of the show was the recordings that he made while traveling throughout the Balkan Mountain region. While listening to recordings by young musicians at the Institute for Folklore in Bucharest, Cellier was introduced to the playing of Zamfir. He was so impressed that a meeting with Zamfir was scheduled, during which several songs were recorded for his show. In 1969, Zamfir traveled to Switzerland to visit Cellier. When Cellier played Zamfir's composition, "Romania Doinas" on an organ at a church in Cully, Zamfir began improvising on a soprano pan flute. Cellier and Zamfir were so delighted by the sound of their collaboration that they agreed to continue playing together. In a review of one of their concerts, La Suisse wrote, "From the first to the last note, there sounded a prelude to a fabulous musical adventure." The two musicians' concert in Australia was taped. Released as Flute de Pan et Orgue in 1984, the album awarded the "Grand Prix Audiovisual De L'Europe" by the Acadamie Du Disque Francais. Following Cellier's success with Zamfir, other pan pipe players began to seek Cellier's support including Dumitru Farcas, with whom Cellier recorded an album, Improvisations Pour Taragot et Orgue.