The twentieth century brought a spirit of innovation to organ building, and composers were inspired to seek out new approaches to the instrument. The most revolutionary new technology was sound recording. For the first time in history, the fleeting sounds produced by musicians could be fixed for future playback. Thus organs, improvisations and interpretations of repertoire became documents of performance practice traditions.
At the Göteborg International Organ Academy 2013, we will explore many facets of twentieth- and twenty-first-century organ music, with special emphasis on sound recordings. Concerts of modern repertoire will feature improvisations and the incorporation of recordings, including an experimental program by the duo Zeelab. Kimberly Marshall will present a concert demonstrating innovation in composing for the organ from the fifteenth to twenty-first centuries; Henrico Stewen will perform Reger, demonstrating his insights into this composer; Martin Herchenröder has devised a program of twentieth- and twenty-first-century music including Ligeti’s Volumina, to be performed on one of the organs where it was first presented; Ilona Kubiaczyk-Adler will demonstrate the cross influences between minimalism, jazz and the symphonic tradition; and Frédéric Blanc will recreate music from twentieth-century France through recording and improvisation.
The Academy also features masterclasses with Kimberly Marshall on “Performing Repertoire through the Lens of Modern Recordings” that will focus on Bach, Late-Romantic and twentieth-century repertoire, as well as masterclasses with Frédéric Blanc on Improvising in the French Symphonic Style.
Eminent artists and scholars will discuss important sound sources for understanding the performance of organ music, and the GOArt organ recording database will be presented as a tool for further research. This Academy offers the opportunity to become immersed in the organ music of our own time while developing greater creativity as an improviser and interpreter. This week could change the course of your organ playing forever!
A personal note from Kimberly Marshall
I am honored to serve as Artistic Director for this year’s Göteborg Organ Academy. Having been a frequent visitor to Göteborg in the 1990s, I am well aware of the outstanding facilities for organ study. In the innovative spirit of the 20th and 21st centuries, we will be making full use of this renown center of organ art to create a truly global academy.