Newsletter March 2017

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Organ Festival Holland

2017 March


Twelve talented musicians to compete for 2017

It was quite a job for the pre-selection jury of the 12th International Schnitger Organ Competition in Alkmaar. Bas de Vroome, Pieter van Dijk and Frank van Wijk made their choice after two long days of intense listening. Without knowing the names behind the 36 recordings, they selected the following: Hyoju Ahn (South-Korea), Victor Baena de la Torre (Spain), Diederik Blankesteijn (the Netherlands), Minji Choi (South-Korea), Thomas Kientz (France), Dominik Lukaszewsky (Poland), Giorgio Piovano (Italy), Martin Riccabona (Austria), Dorien Schouten (the Netherlands), Jochem Schuurman (the Netherlands), Attila Vadasz (Hungary), Edith Yam (Australia).

Those selected have meanwhile been invited for an introduction weekend on 11 and 12 March. There they can to get to know the three organs that are to be used in the competition. On Tuesday 6 June they will again be welcomed by the festival board and then there will be a draw for the order of playing in the first round. On Friday the 9th of June at 4 p.m. the first contender takes his/her place behind the organ and kicks off the competition.

For a further introduction of these twelve talented musicians see: Orgel Festival Holland


Programme 14th Academy full of original musical subjects

The programme of the International Organ Academy in Alkmaar is always eagerly awaited, not only by the public, but also by the organisation itself, as the input of the jury members always plays a big part. Maurizio Croci’s subject is keyboard music from the time of Claudio Monteverdi and Girolamo Frescobaldi. Recently discovered manuscripts might provide some surprisingly intimate music.

In their masterclasses, Franz Danksagmüller and Sophie-Veronique Cauchefer-Choplin reveal the secrets of what is considered to be a good improvisation. The sounds of the Adema-organ in the Mozes-en-Aäronkerk in Amsterdam will present a completely different source of inspiration than those of Jan van Covelens.

Then an Englishman talking about Bach. David Titterington proves that Brexit has no consequences for the language of music: how different and without boundaries is his story, as is the language of Johann Sebastian and his son Carl Philipp Emanuel.

Inspiring people and inspiring organs; this academy promises to be another original edition. Applications open until 1 May 2017.

Read more about the academy on: Orgel Festival Holland


Organ Festival Holland looking for new common ground

With the art competiton “Picture Music”, Organ Festival Holland is looking for common ground between music and other forms of art. “Picture Music” wants to offer eager, creative people a platform, by displaying their musically inspired objects in the beautiful, bright surroundings of the Grote Sint Laurenskerk.

Together with the Alkmaar Centre of the Arts, Artiance, a competition has been organised for young people ( 12 – 18 years old) and adults to take part with a painting, a drawing, sculpture or photo. An expert jury, consisting of various disciplines, will decide who best succeeded in the task: to picture your favourite music with no sound. The public will also have a say by awarding a special prize.

Read more about this fascinating competition, be brave and take part: Orgel Festival Holland


Organ Festival Holland to be the ideal caregiver?

Music can be healing. Where the words of the therapist fail, music can enrapture us. Music can be unforgettable, also for a brain damaged by dementia. In the deepest layers of our brain musical sounds stay available for a very long time and that can help to eas the burden.

The St Matthew Passion and the Messiah are high on the charts in that respect. But has it helped their creators, Bach and Handel? If it had been up to Organ Festival Holland it would have. Together with the Royal Society Physica and the Ophthalmology department of the Alkmaar Hospital, the eye problems of both music visionaries will be pursued in greater depth, with the question what happens if medical care is not available.

Time and place of this spectacular prologue is the Kapelkerk in Alkmaar, Thursday 8 June at 8 p.m. Physicians Wiesje van der Flier and Richard Zegers will illustrate both cases in a realistic manner, so a strong stomach is to be commended.

Frank van Wijk has the last word with Music for the Royal Fireworks.

For the entire festival programme: Orgel Festival Holland

[picture: Anatomic lesson by Dr. Willem Röell (1728, Cornelis Troost 1696 - 1750)]

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