French Crescendo and German Diminuendo: Character and Context in 19th-Century European Organ Art October 19-23, 2015


The members of the organ academy faculty include top organists and music scholars from around the world, all dedicated and enthusiastic ambassadors for their art. Artistic director in residence: Joris Verdin


Annelies Focquaert

After graduating from secondary school, she entered the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp in the organ class of Stanislas Deriemaeker and his successor Joris Verdin, who was her main teacher. She obtained her Masters degree in organ playing in 2001 with Joris Verdin, as well as obtaining a pedagogical degree for musical teaching. Parallel with the start of her concert career and while working as a music teacher, she started a post-graduate education at the Ghent Orpheus Institute, where she was a laureate in 2006 with a research project on the Belgian organist and composer Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens (1823–1881). Since 2005, she works as project coordinator and scientific assistant of the Study Centre for Flemish Music in Antwerp. In 2008 she began a research project at the AUHA (Association of University and Highschools of Antwerp) on the foundation of the Lemmens Institute in Mechelen, which she completed one year later. At the same time she started a Doctorate in the Arts on J. N. Lemmens (AUHA), which she completed and defended in October 2014. Her research resulted in articles for the encyclopedias Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Germany), The New Grove (US) and organ periodicals such as Orgelkunst (Belgium), the yearbook of the Royal College of Organists (UK), and L’Orgue (France). She regularly plays organ concerts in Belgium and France and has accompanied soloists, choirs and ensembles such as Flemish Radio Choir, Flemish Radio Orchestra, Choeur de Namur, Prometheusensemble and Oxalys ensemble, both on organ and harmonium.


Hans Davidsson

Hans Davidsson is professor of organ at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen. 2001–2012, he served as professor of organ at the Eastman School of Music and Project Director of the Eastman-Rochester Organ Initiative in Rochester, NY, USA. 1987–2005, he served as professor of organ at the School of Music at Göteborg University, 1994-2009 as the Artistic Director of the Göteborg International Organ Academy (GINA), and he was the founder of Göteborg Organ Art Center (GOArt). In 2007, he was appointed professor of organ at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen in Germany where he continues to serve as the director of the Arp Schnitger Institute of Organ and Organ Building. He performs and teaches at major festivals and academies throughout the world. He has made many recordings, including most recently the complete works of Dietrich Buxtehude and Georg Böhm on the Loft label.


Joel Speerstra

Joel Speerstra is a Senior Researcher at the Göteborg Organ Art Center and a Lecturer at the Academy of Music and Drama at the University of Gothenburg. He is active as an instrument builder, performer, teacher, and musicologist. He has been a practicing church musician since the age of fifteen and has been giving concerts on historical keyboard instruments since the age of 18, more or less the same time he became fascinated by keyboard instrument building. The bulk of his recent concert-playing has been divided between the organ and the clavichord, often linked directly to a conference, masterclass or summer course. He is a member of the faculty at the Smarano Summer Academy in the Trentino, Italy, and with Per Anders Terning has built more than fifty pedal clavichords, and manual clavichords, for individuals and institutions in Europe, North America, and Asia. He is a recent recipient of the Hilding Rosenberg prize in Musicology from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.


Joris Verdin

Joris Verdin is both organist and musicologist. This combination is the reason for his preference of reviving forgotten music at the same time as he creates contemporary compositions. He has recorded over forty CDs as a soloist, spanning many musical eras and styles, an many of them have been awarded prizes. After various activities as accompanist, arranger and producer he now focuses on the organ as well as the harmonium and has become internationally reputed as a specialist. He teaches the organ at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp and is professor of organology at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Master classes, musical editions and articles are an important part of his activities. Amongst them, the first complete edtion of César Franck harmonium works and the first handbook of harmonium technique. Joris Verdin was Musician of the year of the Flanders Festival 2002 and artistic adviser of the Liszt “orgue-piano” in Vienna, which he inaugurated 2005. The spanish town Torre de Juan Abad (Ciudad Real) appointed Joris Verdin as honorary organist of the historical organ built by Gaspar de la Redonda in 1763. Since 2007, after inaugurating the restored Cavaillé-Coll organ 1864, organist in residence at the “Voix Célestes” Program at the Fondation Royaumont, France.


Kurt Lueders

Since receiving a B. A. in Music from Yale College in 1972, Kurt Lueders has lived in Paris where his teachers were Maurice Duruflé, Edouard Souberbielle, André Fleury and Stéphane Caillat. He holds diplomas in organ from the Schola Cantorum and in theory and choral conducting from the Institute of Sacred Music in Paris, and recently completed a doctoral thesis at the Sorbonne on the life and works of Alexandre Guilmant. His concerts, recordings, lectures, master classes and magazine articles in several countries focus on 19th-century organ esthetics and repertory; in particular he has contributed to the Revised “New Groves Dictionary of Music” and “Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart”. In March 1993 he made his second concert and lecture trip to Japan, at the invitation of the Japan Organ Society. Since 1978 he has been Vice President of the Association Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and editor of its publications, including the specialized revue La Flûte Harmonique. A further activity is the rediscovery of the rich musical heritage of the harmonium, through concerts and recordings of solo and ensemble literature (Saint-Saëns, Widor, Gounod, Guilmant, Rossini etc.). He is organist at the Reformed Church of the Holy Spirit in Paris, Professor of Organ at the Conservatory of Plaisir near Versailles and Instructor in the Music Department of the Sorbonne University.


Ludger Lohmann

Ludger Lohmann was born 1954 in Herne. He studied music and musicology at the Musikhochschule and the University of Cologne,
organ with Marie-Claire Alain, Anton Heiller and Wolfgang Stockmeier, as well as harpsichord with Hugo Ruf. He won several international organ competitions, like the ARD competition in Munich, 1979 (Association of German Broadcasting Corporations) and the Grand Prix de Chartres in 1982. His PhD thesis was entitled “Studies on Articulation Problems with Keyboard Instruments of the 16th to the 18th Centuries” and published in 1981. From 1979–1983 he taught the organ at Cologne Musikhochschule, and
since 1983 he has been professor for organ at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst
in Stuttgart. Besides he was titular organist of the Stuttgart St. Eberhard Catholic Cathedral for 25 years. In 1989 he was guest professor at Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford (CN), USA, and he has been active as a
senior researcher at the GOArt, University of Göteborg. Concert tours have brought him throughout Europe, Northern and Southern America, Japan, and Korea.
He has made several recordings with music from 16th to 20th centuries. A central part of his activities is teaching talented students from all over the world in his Stuttgart organ class. He is frequently invited as guest professor and teacher of master classes, which brings him to music academies and universities in many countries. He is a much sought-after jury member in international competitions.


Magnus Kjellson

Magnus Kjellson is the founder and director of Göteborg Baroque, the prize-winning vocal and instrumental ensemble now in its second decade. Göteborg Baroque has generated large international interest through its concerts and CD recordings. He has toured Europe and the United States as a solo organist and ensemble leader, and is frequently engaged as a guest instructor at international academies and festivals. He was educated at the Academy of Music and Drama in Göteborg where he studied with Rune Wåhlberg and Hans Davidsson and at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam with Hans van Nieuwkoop. He has taught organ interpretation and liturgical organ at the Academy of Music and Drama and currently serves as the organist at the German Church.


Niclas Fredriksson

Niclas Fredriksson, born 1968, is currently the conservator for the Linköping diocese, with responsibilities for the care and preservation of historical objects and church interiors within the diocese. He has been active for many years as an organ consultant for the Swedish National Heritage Board and has often worked with GOArt, specializing in technical documentations of historical organs.


Paul Peeters

Paul Peeters studied musicology at Utrecht University, where his main teachers were Prof. Dr. Maarten Albert Vente and Dr. Jan van Biezen. He studied organ with Kees van Houten and Jacques van Oortmerssen, and attended courses with Klaas Bolt, Harald Vogel, and Jean-Claude Zehnder. From 1983–1991 he was general editor of the Dutch organ journal “Het Orgel.” In 1995 he emigrated to Göteborg, Sweden, and was appointed librarian and coordinator of the documentation at the Göteborg Organ Art Center (GOArt) at the University of Gothenburg. From 2004–2007 he served GOArt as its director. Currently, he divides his time between GOArt (as an associated researcher), the Göteborg International Organ Academy (as its project leader) and the Academy of Music and Drama (teaching organ building history). At present, he is completing a doctoral dissertation (“French and German Organ Building in the 19th Century. Comparative Studies of the Sound Concepts of Cavaillé-Coll and Walcker”). From its foundation in 1990 until 2013, he has been a board member of the “International Association of Organ Documentation” (IAOD), 2006–2013 as its chairman.


Sverker Jullander

Sverker Jullander is Professor of Musical Performance at Piteå School of Music, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. He graduated as a church musician from the Royal College of Music, Stockholm, and received his diploma as an organ soloist at the School of Music, University of Gothenburg. A scholarship from the Royal Academy of Music enabled him to pursue further studies in Cologne with Michael Schneider. His PhD dissertation of 1997 deals with issues of performance practice in the organ works of the Swedish late romantic composer Otto Olsson.  He taught organ and organ pedagogy at the School of Music from 1985 to 2006. A founding member of Göteborg Organ Art Center (GOArt), he was its Director of Research and Publications from 2001 to spring 2006. Between 2009 and 2012 he was Director of Research Education at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg. As a concert organist, he has given recitals in Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Austria, UK, Latvia, Spain, and The Netherlands. He has recorded several CDs and made radio broadcasts. As a musicologist, he specializes in the organ music of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to articles and book chapters, he has also edited a large number of scholarly publications.