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Ann Labounsky

Dr. Ann Labounsky

At First Lutheran Church, PittsburghDr. Ann Labounsky has earned an enviable international reputation as a virtuoso performer and improvisor at the organ, and particularly, as a leading American disciple of Jean Langlais. From 1962 to 1964 Ann Labounsky lived and studied in Paris as a recipient of a Fulbright Grant.

As an organ student of André Marchal and Jean Langlais, she immersed herself in the French organ tradition; she studied most of Langlais’s compositions with the composer, and played them for him on the organ at Sainte-Clotilde. In 1964, while she was Langlais’s student at the Schola Cantorum, she earned the Diplôme de Virtuosité with mention maximum in both performance and improvisation. Additional study was with Suzanne Chaisemartin and Marcel Dupré. She was awarded the diploma with the highest honors at the organ competition at the Soissons Cathedral.

“I have just learned that the recordings of my organ music will happen.
This is the greatest joy of my life and it is to you, dear Ann that I owe this.”
— Jean Langlais, October, 1978

Dr. Labounsky has performed world premieres of many of Langlais’s compositions and works by American composers. In addition to extensive performances in the United States, she has made concert tours of Europe, performing at Sainte-Clotilde in Paris on each tour, as well as in Brittany, the Netherlands, Germany, the Ukraine, and Scotland. Her performances have been broadcast over the French National Radio as well as public radio stations in the United States. Her recital credits include performances at the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Basilica of Ste. Clotilde in Paris; the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC; the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York; Grace Cathedral in San Francisco; the Cathedral of St. Paul in Pittsburgh; and the Cathedral of St. Paul in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Ann Labounsky, Jean Langalis and William Marshall , Paris 1964
Ann Labounsky’s early training was under the direction of Paul J. Sifler and John LaMontaine in New York City. She was awarded a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where she was a student of David Craighead, a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan where her teacher was Marilyn Mason, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Labounsky is the author of a biography of Langlais, Jean Langlais: The Man and His Music, published in 2000 by Amadeus Press. In 2001 she developed a multi-media presentation of the life of Jean Langlais based on this biography. Mist Media, Inc. has further developed this multi-media presentation in the form of a DVD sponsored by the Los Angeles AGO chapter.

Dr. Labounsky is an active member of both the American Guild of Organists and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. In the American Guild of Organists she holds the Fellow certificate and has served as Councillor for Education and Director of the National Committee on Improvisation, and as a member of the Certification Committee. Currently she also serves as national Director of Certification for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Dr. Labounsky has recorded the complete organ works of Jean Langlais for the Voix du Vent Recordings: a project encompassing 26 compact disks and an accompanying book in honor of the Langlais centennial. The first 18 CDs were received with critical acclaim in leading publications including The New York Times, The American Organist, and The Diapason. 

As Chair of Organ and Sacred Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr. Labounsky oversees both the undergraduate and graduate programs in sacred music. She is also Organ Artist-in-Residence at First Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh. 

Ann Labounsky is the mother of three children and four grandchildren, and resides in the North Hills area of Pittsburgh with her husband, Lewis M. Steele, Jr., CPA.

To learn more about Ann Labounsky, visit:

To learn more about Jean Langlais, please visit the links below to order Dr. Labounsky's book, Jean Langlais: The Man and His Music, and the DVD produced by the Los Angeles Chapter, American Guild of Organists.