A World of Tactile Passion
and New Sounds
Göteborg International Organ Festival
October 11-20, 2019
The Organ as a
Musical Mechanical Marvel
Celebrating the centenary of Sven-Eric Johanson (1919–1997),
composer and organist in Gothenburg
Early music | New music
THE MESSIAH by George Frederick Handel, performed by Göteborg Baroque with original orchestration and the new ensemble instrument Claviorganum
- Listen to world-class performers in concerts and workshops with Monica Melcova, Catalina Vicens, Hans-Ola Ericsson, Nathan Laube, Karin Nelson, Joris Verdin, Göteborg Baroque, Gageego, and many others
- Experience Göteborg Baroque’s Claviorganum, a new hybrid instrument
- Visit the Pop Up Museum of Musical Mechanical Marvels – organ and related keyboards exhibition and lectures
- See the new concert organ beginning to move into the Gothenburg Concert Hall
- Discover the Baroque organ in Örgryte New Church as a musical, mechanical marvel
- Build a fully mechanical two-octave DO organ
- Enjoy the Youth Organ Festival
A new, unique ensemble instrument:
Göteborg Baroque´s Claviorganum
A mechanical hybrid, both organ and harpsichord:
a musical mechanical marvel
Göteborg Baroque, with its leader, Magnus Kjellson, has created a unique ensemble instrument, together with organ builder Mats Arvidsson and with funding from the Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture. When Arvidsson’s organ is combined with a harpsichord built by Andreas Kilström, the instrument becomes a mechanical hybrid, both organ and harpsichord: a musical mechanical marvel.
Another unique feature of the instrument is the “long movement”: a mechanism running alongside the stage floor (below the singers and players, functioning as a kind of mechanical remote control of the organ so that it sounds turned towards the audience but is also clearly heard by the performers, though placed at the back of the stage. This construction, similar to that used for Handel’s oratorio performances in the 18th century, enables the instrument to encompass the entire ensemble, surrounding it with musical sound, from the harpsichord at the front and from the organ at the back.
Since the organ has more pipes than usual in each octave, and thanks to an extremely ingenious and complex mechanical system, it is possible to play “pure” intervals in most keys.
The Claviorganum will be inaugurated February 21–24, 2019. Don’t miss this event!
Göteborg Baroque’s Claviorganum will be a musical cornerstone in the 2019 Gothenburg International Organ Festival.
A Versatile Swedish Organist and Composer
In the 2019 edition of the Gothenburg International Organ Festival we will pay tribute to the Swedish organist and composer, Sven-Eric Johanson, member of the ’Monday group’ of prominent mid 20th century Swedish composers, one of the most important composers of his generation, and a brilliant and extremely versatile musician.
Besides an impressive output of “pure” art music compositions, he also created border-crossing, experimental music and initiated musical happenings of different kinds.
He served as organist of Älvsborg Church in Gothenburg for 25 years, and during his whole life he composed organ music while also improvising in concerts on the instrument. He is perhaps, however, best known and most appreciated as a composer of choral music.
One of the most colorful personalities on the Swedish musical scene, and with an outer appearance reminiscent of Salvador Dalí, Johanson stood out as a jester and prankster – and he often portrayed himself as one. He was, however, at heart a serious-minded artist and an exceptionally prolific composer.
Welcome to a new year with the Gothenburg International Organ Academy Association
– 2019 will be an exciting year with many novelties!
The Gothenburg International Organ Academy collaborates with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and HIGAB (a real-estate company, the proprietor of the Gothenburg Concert Hall and itself owned by the City of Gothenburg) in order to provide Gothenburg with a new world-class concert hall organ. The organ, which is being built by the Austrian firm Rieger Orgelbau, will begin to be installed in summer 2019. The inauguration is planned for the 2021 Organ Festival, but already in spring 2019, you will have the opportunity to meet the organ builders and learn about the project through a number of video films made during the building process, which will be published in our channel ORGEL-TV and on our Facebook page.
During the Festival in autumn 2019, you will be given the opportunity to personally meet the organ builders. The concert hall organ-building project is monitored and supported by an international expert group, in which the Göteborg International Organ Academy Association participates as a consultant, through its affiliated company GOART AB.
2019 - an exciting year!
The organ is the biggest musical instrument of all, enclosed in an organ case, a “house” with its own architecture and a mechanical “nervous system”, through which the organist gives impulses that make the instrument sound. From the bellows, the organ’s lungs, air is streaming through wind channels to be stored in windchests and then led further up to the sounding parts, the pipes, which are constructed in various ways and made of different wooden and metal materials, in order to produce as varied sounds as possible. The organ pipes are grouped in ranks or stops similar to the instruments of an orchestra: singing principals, soft-toned flutes, colorful shawms, trumpets and trombones, in addition to brilliant mixtures; all of them contributing to the organ’s unique timbral and dynamic scope, with sounds ranging from poetic and ethereal to fanfare-like and powerful. We invite you to the fantastic richness of the organ, a world of tactile passion and new sounds.
25 YEARS WITH THE GOTHENBURG INTERNATIONAL ORGAN ACADEMY
This year, the Organ Academy celebrates its 25th anniversary! Since 1992, the city’s unique treasure of new, restored, and reconstructed organs has grown step by step. The multidisciplinary organ research that was developed at the University of Gothenburg and its organ research center, GOArt, in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology, also contributed to placing the city on the world map as an internationally leading organ city. In the GOArt organ research workshop were built, in addition to the unique meantone-tempered North German baroque organ in Örgryte New Church, new instruments for the National University of Arts in South Korea, for Cornell University and Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, USA. All of these instruments were built using working methods and processes from the 17th century. The Gothenburg International Organ Academy has been arranged 18 times and has attracted a large number of organists, scholars and organ builders from all over the world. We continue in the same spirit, and in 2017 we took the exciting step of becoming a festival, intended also for a broader audience of all ages.
GÖTEBORG INTERNATIONAL ORGAN FESTIVAL 2019
This year’s organ festival will take place 11–20 October. With the theme “The organ as a musical mechanical marvel”, the festival offers a rich program of artistic experiences at the highest international level, including concerts, workshops, lectures, panel discussions, an exhibition, the Gothenburg Youth Organ Festival, etc. The Gothenburg audience will be given the opportunity to meet international organists, both new and already well-known guests coming to our organ feast to make music but also to experience a new instrument forming a unique addition to the city’s treasure of organs: a Claviorganum (a combination of organ and harpsichord), a mechanical instrument of a kind that has not been built since the 18th century.
A NEW, UNIQUE INSTRUMENT – GÖTEBORG BAROQUE’S CLAVIORGANUM
Göteborg Baroque, with its leader, Magnus Kjellson, has created a unique ensemble instrument, together with organ builder Mats Arvidsson, with a harpsichord by Andreas Kilström, and with funding from the Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture. The instrument is a mechanical hybrid, both an organ and a harpsichord: a musical mechanical marvel. Since the organ has more pipes than usual in each octave, and thanks to an extremely ingenious and complex mechanical system, it is possible to play “pure” intervals in most keys. The Claviorganum will be inaugurated February 21–24, 2019. Don’t miss this event! Göteborg Baroque’s Claviorganum will be a musical cornerstone in the 2019 Gothenburg International Organ Festival.
ORGAN FOR ALL
In our program for the season we offer concerts with the theme Organ for All, in different formats and constellations, including organ together with vocal and instrumental music, border-crossing programs and, for instance, organ massage. This is made possible through a close collaboration with the Church of Sweden, especially the parishes in the center of Gothenburg.
PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
We are now developing further our output of high quality programs for children and young people, by participating in the International Science Festival 1–6 April, with an organ track within the music camp Side by Side by El Sistema 15–19 June, and our own event, the Göteborg Youth Organ Festival 14–19 October, in collaboration with the Gothenburg City Library and the Academy of Music and Drama. In these events, chlldren and young people are given the opportunity to build a small “DO organ” – experiencing the instrument as a mechanical construction and sound-producing machine, pumping the bellows and playing the instrument – moreover, to participate in an organ school and organ workshops, go for an organ safari, and to the youngest organ lovers, pre-school children, we offer fascinating organ stories.
THE WEST SWEDEN ORGAN VISION
In the project West Sweden Organ Vision, the Organ Academy expands its collaboration with our partners in the Region Västra Götaland to include more concerts in addition to various projects aimed at arousing interest in the organ as a musical instrument and at developing knowledge and competence in the field of the organ art. The project is made possible through a three-year grant for ”strategic cultural development”, which we have been awarded by the Region Västra Götaland from 2019 through 2021.
A NEW CONCERT HALL ORGAN
The Gothenburg International Organ Academy collaborates with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and HIGAB (a real-estate company, the proprietor of the Gothenburg Concert Hall and itself owned by the City of Gothenburg) in order to provide Gothenburg with a new world-class concert hall organ. The organ, which is being built by the Austrian firm Rieger Orgelbau, will begin to be installed in summer 2019. The inauguration is planned for the 2021 Organ Festival, but already in spring 2019, you will have the opportunity to meet the organ builders and learn about the project through a number of video films made during the building process, which will be published in our channel ORGEL-TV and on our Facebook site (you are welcome to follow us). During the Festival in autumn 2019, you will be given the opportunity to personally meet the organ builders. The concert hall organ-building project is monitored and supported by an international expert group, in which the Göteborg International Organ Academy Association participates as a consultant, through its affiliated company GOART AB.
ARP SCHNITGER 300 YEARS – START OF THE ARP SCHNITGER ACADEMY 5–9 AUGUST 2019
This year marks the 300th anniversary of the death of Arp Schnitger (1648–1719), one of the most important organ builders in history. This is commemorated in many parts of the world. Schnitger , who was active in north Germany, built more than 150 organs. He was the first internationally active organ builder, combining top quality with a larger output of instruments than any earlier organ builder. The unique baroque organ in Örgryte New Church, built in the 1990s as a research project by organ builders from twelve countries and in collaboration between the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology, was conceived in Schnitger’s style, and it will be at the center of the first Arp Schnitger Academy, which will take place 5–9 August. It is an international academy for a limited number of participants, who will study organ playing at the baroque organ in Örgryte New Church under the guidance of Hans Davidsson. In 2019, the focus will be the music of Matthias Weckmann (1616–1674) and Georg Böhm (1661–1733).
The organ inventory in the diocese of Västerås, conducted by FGIOA through our affiliated company GOART AB, continues and will be presented in our database in early 2020. All church organs in the diocese are being visited, photographed and documented.
THE PINNED BARREL AS MUSIC ARCHIVE
The Gothenburg International Organ Academy Association is currently hosting a three-year research project, The Pinned Barrel as Music Archive, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) and led by Johan Norrback. During the organ festival, a conference on this theme will be organized during the first weekend. Organ clocks are fascinating constructions, containing both a clockwork and an advanced automatic musical instrument – usually a small organ. Pehr Strand (1758–1826), regarded as the foremost builder of organ clocks in Sweden around 1800, built such instruments for merchants, factory proprietors, noblemen and royalty. When the barrel rotates, reading arms transfer the information and play the music on the organ. These barrels can be seen as a kind of music archive, often silent, but unique, because it carries information about how the music was intended to sound at this time.
A DATABASE OF SWEDISH 18TH-CENTURY ORGANS
In 2019, the Gothenburg International Organ Academy Association will conduct a project aiming to present a selection of Sweden’s best preserved 18th-century organs in an open database. Each instrument will be presented with detailed technical information and with recently made video and audio recordings, in addition to interviews with organ experts and sounding examples played by the organist Sietze de Vries of Groningen, The Netherlands. This project is funded by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
WITHOUT YOU – NOTHING!
We in the Gothenburg International Organ Academy Association are very grateful for the collaboration with all our partners, and we also wish to thank all funders who through their grants make our activities possible. We also wish to express our heartfelt thanks to all volunteers who, in different ways, contribute to our possibilities to highlight the organ and its music in different ways – and, finally, to our audience, who meet us with interest, enthusiasm and joy during the entire year!
We're delighted to offer the most hospitable welcome we can to the fantastic world of the organ, to a new year with the Gothenburg International Organ Academy Association – 2019 will be a real jubilee year, with many novelties – and to a world of tactile passion and new sounds!
Photo: Lars Andersson/Luleå Tekniska Universitet
The Göteborg International Organ Academy Association