French organist and composer Jeanne Demessieux (1921 – 1968) was legendary even during her lifetime. Her art of playing enchanted the hearts of many listeners in many European countries, the United States and Canada. “She came, she played, she conquered,” was a journalist’s brief summary. Critics praised her musicality, technique and talent for improvisation. She played most of the concerts by heart and travelled and performed in the United States without sheet music.
All of this contributed to her status as an exceptional genius.