Excursion – Organs in the province of Groningen

19 October 2018 @ 10:30 – 17:45
Hoofdstation Groningen
9726 AC Groningen
€ 38,00

Organs in the province of Groningen

A visit to Schnitger organs in Uithuizen and Eenum with a concert given by the gifted young organist Gerwin Hoekstra in the Der Aa-kerk.

The ‘Organ Garden of The Netherlands’. That is how Groningen is known to music lovers, and rightly so. In the area around the city of Groningen, most of the numerous medieval churches – cultural heritage owned and maintained now by a Trust, Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken (SOGK) – are the proud shelters of excellent organs. Many of these instruments date from the 17th or 18th century.
The majority of the instruments are of the highest quality. Apparently, all these hundreds of years ago, local people felt that spending their money and energy on organs built by famous organ builders such as Schnitger was of great importance. There are as many as ten – 10! – real Schnitger instruments in the Groningen area today. In the present excursion, three of them will be inspected: an opportunity that must not be missed. The Trust mentioned above is involved in the organisation of this tour.

The assembly site is Groningen Central Railway Station, where you will find our coach. On our coach trip we will be joined by Cees van der Poel, the author of ‘Naam en Faam – Vijf Schnitger-orgels in Groningen’, who will talk about the organs we visit. The Schnitger organs we will see and hear are those of Uithuizen and Eenum. Halfway, lunch (included in the price) will be served. The dessert is a concert in the largest church of the Trust SGOK, the Der Aa-kerk in the City of Groningen. The promising and talented young organist Gerwin Hoekstra will sound the organ in music from one of the richest periods in the history of music: the North German Organ generation ending at around the year 1700.

Book Presentation
Prior to the concert in the Der Aa-kerk, the latest volume in the series ‘Orgelreeks’ will be presented, a monograph about Johan van Meurs, a 20th century organist of the Church.

Friday 19 October, 10.30 – 17.45, lunch between 12.15 and 13.15.
Concert in the Der Aa-kerk: 17.00.

Departure from Central Station Groningen, by coach.

€ 47,50 (€ 38,00 for sponsors of the Old Groningen Churches Foundation). The price includes lunch and coffee/tea.

Tickets for the concert in the Der Aa-kerk for non-participants are € 8,00, at the door.

Applications for the excursion
info@groningerkerken.nl; enter “Orgelexcursie 19 October 2018, or by telephone +3150-3123569, by 17th October at the latest.

Please Note: the minimum number of participants is 20.

Gerwin Hoekstra
Hoekstra (1992) had his first organ lessons when he was eight years old, and was taught by Dirk Molenaar in Eenum. He then studied at the Prins Claus Conservatorium in Groningen with Erwin Wiersinga and Theo Jellema. He took his bachelor with distinction. For his master study in Historical Keyboards he moved to the US, where he studied at the Oberlin Conservatory with James David Christie (organ), Mark Edwards and Webb Wiggins (harpsichord). In the autumn of 2016, he took lessons with the distinguished visiting professor Marie-Louise Langlais.
Hoekstra attended masterclasses with Guy Bovet, Ludger Lohmann, Philippe Lefebvre and others. He was awarded several prizes at competitions, including a third prize at the Interna-tional Sweelinck Concours 2014. In the Miami International Organ Competition 2014 he finished with distinction.
Gerwin Hoekstra was the organist of the First Church in Oberlin, and from 2010 to 2015 he was organist of the Protestant Church of Winsum-Obergum.

Cees van der Poel

Cees van der Poel is performing musician, teacher and choirmaster. As an independent consultant in the field of organ-building he gives support and advice in the restoration of historical organs, together with the National Institute for Cultural Heritage. Van der Poel is on the editorial board of the monthly ‘Het Orgel’ and of the encyclopaedia ‘Het Historische Orgel in Nederland’.

Organ Uithuizen
The condition of this Arp Schnitger instrument is still superb. Schnitger finished the building of the organ in 1700. The chest was built by Allert Meijer, and the woodcarving was done by Jan de Rijk. There were various rounds of repair and alterations: by Radeker and Hinsz in the 18th cen-tury, and by Petrus van Oeckelen in the 19th. The most recent restoration, by Bernhardt Edskes, was completed in 2003. The organ has two manuals with 10 stops each, and eight on the pedals.

For further details see: http://arpschnitgerorgeluithuizen.nl/ http://www.arpschnitger.nl/nl/suith.html

Orgel Eenum
Like Uithuizen, the small church in Eenum too has one of the best preserved organs built by Arp Schnitger. It was donated in 1704 by the local squire, Alberda. Petrus van Oeckelen extended the instrument and widened the chest. In the restoration of 1985/1986 the chest was reduced to its original size. The overall concept of the restoration was preserving all the valuable aspects, such as the soundscape and intonation, but also some of the 19th century additions. The existing into-nation pattern was the guiding principle for intoning the new stops. No major alterations were applied in the mechanics of the instrument. It is a single-manual instrument organ with pedal pull-downs and it has ten stops.en.

For further details see: http://www.arpschnitger.nl/nl/seenuma.html

Organ Der Aa-kerk, Groningen
The original 1662 Hagerbeerorgel burnt down in 1671, the result of a bolt of lightning. Arp Schnitger’s organ of 1697 was also ruined when the tower collapsed in 1710. From that year till 1815, the church was without an organ. In 1815, the builder J.W. Timpe transferred the instru-ment Schnitger had built in 1702 for the University Church – Broerkerk – to the Der Aa-Kerk. The most recent restoration, in 2011, was carried out by Orgelmakerij Reil in Heerde. There are three manuals and pedals, 40 stops altogether: 13 for the Hauptwerk, 10 for the Rückpositiv, 8 for the Brüstwerk and 9 in the pedals. The chest was constructed by Allert Meijer, and the woodcarv-ing was done by Jan de Rijk.

See for further details: http://www.arpschnitger.nl/nl/sgro02.html

Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken
Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken: owns and maintains historical churches in the province of Groningen, and promotes the interest in cultural heritage.