Newsletter June 2015

Organ Festival Holland

June 2015

Organ Festival Holland ready to go !

Not long now before the start of the Alkmaar organ festival 2015. The theme ‘Music and Space’ promises, besides the competiton and the academy, some extra special events this time. Take for instance the prologue on Tuesday 25th June: wholly dedicated to the universe. The Royal Society Physica, the Weather and Astronomical Association Metius in Alkmaar and Prof. Dr. Vincent Icke are taking the audience to infinity and will lift a little of the veil which covers all those secrets in space. All this will be garnished with an oboe concerto by the English composer, organist and astronomer of German descent, William Herschel (1738-1822). Frank van Wijk is going to show that the beautiful organ in the Kapelkerk can be a fabulous imitator, with heavenly result . But there is more. Before the opening concert on Saturday June 27th some people are going to blow their own trumpets, literally, from the tower! Four brass players will be serenading from the Waag-tower as a sample of what is to come: three ensembles, each one with its own particular character, of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, will fill the heights of the Grote Sint Laurenskerk with music from lightyears ago during the evening concert. And the following day another serenade, but this time of sublime singing from the Scottish eastern coast: the choir of the University of St. Andrews. Reitze Smits will supply the necessary variation by playing both organs. All in all a spectacular weekend to kick off a sparkling festival, absolutely worthwhile a visit: whoever does not love “space” and “music”?

Programme booklet and ticket sales

We proudly present the newly publicized Festival Programme Booklet ‘Music and Space’ containing all the information about the festival, the concerts, the programmes and the people concerned.You can find it on our website, read it and also download it. During the festival the booklet will be available free of charge. All the information can of course also be found on the website itself and tickets can be bought online. Ticket sales are handled by Taqa Theater De Vest. See: Programme and tickets.

Registration competition finale

The festival has a world exclusive with the video registration of the finale of the competition on Friday July 3rd. With movable, remote-controlled cameras, the performances of the three finalists will be followed and recorded in dynamic fashion. To guarantee anonimity during the final round the recordings will not be published until afterwards and only with permission of the performers. This new way of video registration aims to promote the organ and shows the kind of top sport the finalists are practising at this level. It has already, and with success, been tried. On 11 April 2015 the re-inauguration of the Van Hagerbeer/Schnitger-organ was recorded in the same manner. Bigears (picture) and DMP Records (sound) made a dynamic registration of this concert, played by Pieter van Dijk and Frank van Wijk, which will be broadcasted later this year on BravaTV. In this broadcast Erik Winkel of Flentrop Orgelbouw Zaandam will be speaking about the restoration, necessary because the pipework was seriously affected by lead corrosion. The particular sound which has given this organ world fame has now been completely restored! On the website of Organ Festival Holland both concert and interview can be seen.

New composition for the organ

The Foundation “Vrienden van het Orgel”” (Alkmaar) has commissioned the Austrian composer Franz Danksagmüller (1969) to compose a new piece for the organ: 'From Sol to BD+42 550'. The composition was handed over last Wednesday 10 June by Jan Visser, president of the Foundation to the city organist of Alkmaar: Pieter van Dijk. The world première will be at the festival’s closing concert of “Music and Space” on Saturday July 4th, at 20.15. The composer will be present at the Round Table discussion just before the concert (at 19.15) in the Library Alkmaar Centrum. With Danksagmüller , Piet Kee and Andries van Rossem will also be discussing their compositions to be performed that evening.

Writing competition

The restoration of the Van Hagerbeer/Schnitger-organ and especially that of its largest pipe, induced Orgel Festival Holland to organise a writing competition. Subject of the story was to be the bizarre find of a skeleton in that huge facade-pipe from the mid-17th century. All age categories were invited to take part and to hand in a story of a maximum of 1000 words. Over 25 stories have been assessed by an expert jury. The prizes will be presented on Sunday 14th of June in the Grote Sint Laurenskerk in Alkmaar.






It´s almost time




They are waiting hopefully for things to come




The cover of the program book




The organ just before the recordings on april 11 2015




Pieter van Dijk receives the new composition from Jan Visser




The Find in the Principal 22´

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