His life was a challenge from the beginning. Born in 1870, famed French organist Louis Vierne (vee-AIRN) was legally blind from childhood and his vision deteriorated further throughout his life. He struggled with mental illness, tragic personal losses and poverty. Yet he still managed to compose some of the great music of the twentieth century. He presided over the organ-console at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris for over three decades. The life and work of Louis Vierne (vee-AIRN) will be celebrated at a festival through this Wednesday (JULY 30) at the House of Hope in Saint Paul. Michael Barone, host of Minnesota Public Radio's Pipedreams, says Vierne heard the organ for the first time at age 10.