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International Martini Organ Competition Groningen - Der Aa-kerk

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Der Aa Church
Akerkhof 2
9711 JB Groningen

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Orgel competition and masterclass

The International Martini Organ Competition Groningen is to be held from 3 – 11 August and will feature masterclasses, concerts and excursions. And, of course, recitals on the famous Schnitger organ in the Aa Church. The competition will be organized by the Stichting Martinikerk Groningen in partnership with the Prins Claus Conservatorium and the Peter the Great Festival.

Semi-final round
The semi-final round of the competition will be held on Tuesday 8 August at 4 p.m. in the Aa Church. The competition, which is open to professional organists and organ students up to age 35, is comprised of three rounds. The prescribed repertoire ranges from Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck via Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy to a commissioned piece by Jan Welmers, which was composed especially for the Aa Church organ.

The competition’s preliminary round will be held on the organs of the Pelstergasthuis Church and the Martini Church. The finale is in the Martini Church.

Masterclass
On Saturday 5 August at 10 a.m. Daniël Zaretsky will give a masterclass (free choice repertoire up to 1850). To sign up for this masterclass please mail Harrie de Vries: h.a.de.vries@planet.nl. Active participation is restricted to a limited number of organ students. Passive participation is open to everyone. Passe-partouts are available for the entire festival.

Organ builder Arp Schnitger
As early as 1700, in his own lifetime, organ builder Arp Schnitger’s fame had assumed mythic proportions. Like the great Italian violin-makers Stradivari and Guarneri he was literally world famous, receiving lucrative commissions from Berlin, Hamburg, Portugal and…the province and town of Groningen.

The town of Groningen is the only town in Europe that can boast three magnificently preserved and restored organs that can be attributed largely to Schnitger. His respect for what was already there contributed to the  richness of tone so characteristic of the organs in the Martini Church, the Aa Church and the Pelstergasthuis Church. Moreover, these instruments continued to evolve after Schnitger’s work was completed, and  their palette also includes tonal colours of more recent eras. The tone quality of these organs, their richness of timbre and the surprises all three have in store, continue to be an inspiration and a challenge for organists from all over the world, to play them and hone their professional skills on them.

More information
Admission semi-final round competition 8 Augustus: € 5
Admission masterclass: € 5
For more information about the competition, the concerts, the jury and the participants please see the website of the International Martini Organ Competition Groningen

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