is the official website of the Stichting Internationaal Schnitger Orgelconcours.
The aim of the stichting (foundation) is to increase public awareness of the wealth of historic organs in Alkmaar through the organisation of musical events. The most important of these is ‘Orgelfestival Holland’, which takes place in Alkmaar every 2 years.
The Organfestival 2013 takes place from Friday 21 - Saturday 29 June 2013. Main location will be the Grote Sint Laurenskerk In Alkmaar. The festival is dedicated to the composer Johann Sebastian Bach, with the emphasis on his cantatas and organ works.
The festival will consist of a series of concerts, the 10th International Schnitger Organ Competition and the Organ Academy, for which participants from all over the world can apply.
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The Stichting Vrienden van het Orgel (Friends of the Organ) organises yearly some special events for the organs in the region and also this year for the second time a composition competition ; the submitted works intended for performance on the Van Covelens organ during the "Orgelfestival Holland 2011" >>>
ECHO has published a volume of 11 new organ compositions. This will be available from the publishing house Doblinger. Each member-city of ECHO has contributed a work, each of which was composed for one of the historic organs in that city.
For more information about ECHO, please see here: >>>
The Stichting Internationaal Schnitger Orgelconcours is indeed intended to promote the “conservation of the Dutch cultural legacy”, and the historical organs of the Grote Sint Laurenskerk would indeed provide appropriate subject matter for the degree course "Dutch Cultural History, with special focus on historic objects" established in 1991 by the University in Amsterdam, and based on the aims of the Royal Dutch Archeological Society.
However the Schnitger foundation is extremely conscious that the aforementioned organs are not only ‘objects’ of cultural interest, but working musical instrument and, for that matter, historical ones. When an organ stop is engaged and a key pressed, one hears a sound heard by many in the preceding centuries. The 1511 Van Covelens organ takes us, like an acoustical time machine, back to the year 1511, while the Van Hagerbeer/Schnitger organ brings us directly into contact with sounds from the 17th century. The rich palette of sounds and the fabulous organ cases were heard and seen by many generations before our own.
That said, ‘Schnitger’ goes much further than simply promoting the conservation of antique sound monuments. The foundation realises that these instruments have an essential role to play in the musical life of the 21st century. They are not only vehicles for the facilitation of informed performances of historic repertoire, but also for the performance of music of our own time, in the form of new compositions and contemporary improvisation.
The organs of Alkmaar’s Grote Sint Laurenskerk provide a compelling synthesis of antique cultural treasures on the one hand, and the musical reality of today on the other.