20 October 2018 @ 09:15 – 12:00
Pelsterstraat 43
9711 KJ Groningen


The organist Matteo Imbruno works with students of the Prins Claus Conservatory, on the Schnitger-Hinszorgan in the Pelstergasthuiskerk.

Learning from the expert how to play a Schnitger organ and use all its many possibilities and resources – or how to listen to these possibilities – that is what happens on Saturday 20 October. The organist giving the masterclass today is Matteo Imbruno, originally from Italy but living and working in Holland now. This masterclass in the Pelsterkerk is a great opportunity for musicians to gain knowledge and expertise, and for listeners to get an inside view of musicians at their trade. We have succeeded in engaging a master organist in the person of Matteo Imbruno. He is the ideal teacher, who gives confidence to students, and knows how to show them the ins and outs of the baroque instrument in this chapel.

Should this not be reason enough to attend the masterclass, there is always the unique instrument itself. The Pelstergasthuiskerk organ is the wonderful amalgam of three instruments, and the product of two famous builders. The original organ was built in 1627 according to the cartouche in the gateway, by an unknown builder. Later it was altered and extended – twice – by Arp Schnitger, and at the end of the 18th century again by Albertus Anthonie Hinsz. The instrument is cased in a beautiful chest with ornamental wood carvings representing violins, woodwind and putti blowing the trumpet. The central tower of the organ is also a remarkable feature. The beautiful chest houses a beautiful and very characteristic baroque sound, with its distinctive flutes and the cornet.

For whom
All students at a music school and proficient amateur organists are cordially invited to enroll for the masterclass. The fee is €20.00, and applications are due before 1 October 2018 via

Saturday 20 October, 9.15 – 12.15

Pelstergasthuiskerk, Pelsterstraat 43, Groningen

There is no entrance fee for listeners.

De masterclass will be organized in cooperation with the Prins Claus Conservatory


Matteo Imbruno
Matteo Imbruno was born in Pietramontecorvino, Italy, and studied in Bologna with Liuwe Tamminga. His enthusiasm for Holland was probably fed by his Dutch teacher, and he moved to Rotterdam and later again to Lübeck (Germany) where he studied with Bernard Winsemius and Martin Haselböck respectively. He has been the incumbent organist of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam since 1998, working in the very position Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck had in the 17th century. He also plays the organ in the Amsterdam Hermitage. The performing artist Imbruno has appeared at all the most prestigious festivals in Europe, Japan, Latin America and the US. On various occasions, Imbruno also appeared together with the late Gustav Leonhardt in duo-recitals. He was visiting professor at the Buenos Aires Conservatory, the university of Rosario, the university of Mendoza (Argentina), the Arizona State University (Phoenix, VS) and the Brown University (Providence, VS).
Imbruno has given masterclasses throughout the world, and is a welcome member in international juries. Some of his CDs present music played on historical organs in Holland and Italy, and the BBC has also recorded some of his recitals. He is the artistic manager of the ‘Internationale Orgelconcours Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck’ and of the ‘Fondazione Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo (Pistoia)’.

The ‘Pelstergasthuis’
This hidden pearl is the oldest almshouse in Groningen, dating back to 1267, when the chapel was consecrated. Adjacent to the chapel a ‘hospice of the Holy Ghost’ developed, where passing strangers, pilgrims, tramps, and the poor and needy found shelter and were nursed. At the end of the 16th century, the almshouse catered increasingly for ‘the exceedingly numerous old townspeople, both men and women, in need of bed and board’. These townspeople found accommodation in little terraced houses around three quads which are accessible through a gateway in Pelsterstraat. From about the 17th century, elderly men and women bought board and lodging and settled in the almshouse for life.People living in the almshouse now are regular tenants.

The church or chapel in the court is the oldest part of the almshouse.It was first mentioned when, in 1267, Pope Clemens IV gave permission for the building of a chapeland a churchyard. The chapel is in a simple Gothic style, but has a neo-classical 1855 façade, facing the street.The simple tower houses the oldest church bell (1495) of Groningen.
There is a fine two-manual organ in thechapel, which was begun in 1627. In 1693 and again in 1712,major alterations were made by Schnitger, and in 1774 it was the organ builder Hinsz who had a go at the instrument. The organ is usually called a Schnitger-Hinsz organ.

The organ in the Pelstergasthuis
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