Orgelpark Research

At the Orgelpark, academic and artistic research are considered two sides of the same coin: artistic activities require academic reflection, whereas academic research in the arts without, for example, making and listening to music inevitably will lead to poor results. In 2008, the Orgelpark decided to start the Orgelpark Research Program. In 2010, the Chair Organ Studies was reinstated at VU University Amsterdam. Most recently, in 2012, the Orgelpark initiated a Dutch-spoken Organ Studies Course ("Cursus Orgelkunde"). Hans Fidom holds the chair at VU University and is responsible for the Orgelpark Research Activities.



Orgelpark Research Program

The Orgelpark Research Program addresses issues that play important roles in the Orgelpark’s concerts. Each year, Orgelpark Research organizes about eight colloquia, dedicated to wide variety of themes. In the first week of June the annual International Orgelpark Symposium takes place. The Research Program is project-based. The results are documented in the e-book series Orgelpark Research Reports, which are published in close cooperation with VU University Press.


The Research Program included a three-year project on Improvisation (2008 until 2011). The specific sound character of each organ flourishes optimally in music that is specifically made for it - which is one of the reasons that organists never have stopped improvising. How did the art of improvisation develop through the centuries, what relevance was ascribed to it by, say, musicians such as Johann Sebastian Bach, and how to analyse improvisations? Answers to these and other questions are documented in Orgelpark Research Report #3.


Another example is the ongoing research into 15th and 17th century organ art, inspired by and focussing on the Van Straten organ, built by the organ building company Reil in 2012. This organ represents an interpretation of the state the oldest surviving Dutch organ originally might have been built: in 1479, Peter Gerritsz completed his new organ for the Nicolaïkerk at Utrecht. The original organ did "suffer" quite a few changes through the centuries; the Orgelpark Van Straten organ suggest how it originally may have sounded, with its two Blokwerks. Orgelpark Research Report #4 provides background information, as well as over one hour music, played by major contributors to the e-book, including Harald Vogel.  


From 2012 until 2018, the design and build of the Utopa Baroque Organ were main themes in the Research Program.  The organ combines a uncompromised historically inspired sound concept, referring to the organs Zacharias Hildebrandt built in Johann Sebastian Bach's region, with digital technology, which provides access to the Hildebrandt sound concept in formerly unthinkable ways. The organ was inaugurated on March 21st 2018; Orgelpark Research Report #5/1 en Orgelpark Research Report #5/2 give a detailed account of the instrument. 


As a "hyperorgan", the Utopa Baroque Organ enjoys international acclaim. Whereas other hyperorgans more or less refer to historical sound concepts, the Utopa Baroque Organ does so in an uncompromised way. Orgelpark Research maps what composers and musician do with the instrument, including both old and new music, whether referring to Bach or to completely new concepts. The goal of this project is to inspire musicians and other artists to develop new ways of making music, and position the organ – in general – in 21st century cultures.  



Organ Studies / VU University

The Chair Organ Musicology at VU University provides courses for students (bachelor and [research] master level), as well as the possibility to do PhD research. Furthermore, the chair organizes SummerCourses in the Orgelpark, aiming at connecting academic students (university students) and artistic students (musicians, artists), in order to make them profit from each others talents and thus widen their perspectives. 



Become an Orgelpark Friend

Visit all Orgelpark concerts for only 70 euros a year. By becoming an Orgelpark friend, you help us in our aim to give the organ a new place in contemporary music and allow young talent to perform in a unique ambiance.

Read more

Stichting Utopa actualiseert en stimuleert creatieve talenten van mensen

Lees meer
Music player
Choose a song