The International Schnitger Organ Competition Foundation was founded on the 27th of March 1991 and is registered in the City of Alkmaar. In accordance with its aim it organizes the biennial Organ Festival Holland. Since the foundation 11 competitions and 13 academies have been held. This discrepancy is due to the restauration of the Grote Sint Laurenskerk from 1991 – 1996 and no competition was possible. The academy and concerts however did take place.
The Organ Festival Holland is organized by the International Schnitger Organ Competition Foundation. The foundation aims to let young organists get acquainted with the world famous organs of the Grote St. Laurenskerk in Alkmaar and to offer them a platform
During the festival the Van Covelens-organ (1511) and the large Van Hagerbeer/Schnitger-organ (1646/1725) form the benchmark for the interpretation. With their sublime sound and gorgeous exterior the organs in Alkmaar play a leading role in passing on the organ tradition. The great challenge to the participants of our festival is to allow these organs to sound at their best.The international jury and the experienced teachers fulfill an intermediary and stimulating role in the whole process.
A vital conceptual element of our festival, is the programming of unusual combinations and new compositions for historic organs, with the goal of reaching a new public. Through the commissioning of new compositions, and the programming of concerts for organ with choir, or electronics, we try to present the organ culture in a broader context.
The priorities of the foundation therefore are to present the famous historic organs of the Grote Sint Laurenskerk to the public in an unusually broad context, both locally and internationally, and to offer a podium to young professional organists.