Arts and Entertainment

InternationalOrgan Festival 2011

(Tue 09 August 2011)

Saturday 20 August - Saturday 27 August 2011 marks the week long Internationaal Orgelfestival (International Organ Festival) at The Hague’s Grote Kerk. If you are an admirer of this beautiful church instrument, then why not do something different and go have a peek inside the gorgeous monument in the centre of The Hague.

The Foundation for Organ Grote Concerts in the Grote Kerk The Hague has done it again for international class organists to perform to the sounds of the Metzler organ. The concert’s programme is partly devoted to the commemoration of the 200th birthday of the famous composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Though Liszt was best known as a composer of piano and orchestral works, he also demonstrated great interest in the organ and wrote some important works for this instrument. It is also the 100th anniversary of French organist/composer Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911), one of the most romantic French organ masters. The concert also shines light on the organ works of the French composer Jehan Alain (1911-1940), who was born 100 years ago and in 1940, at the age of 29, was killed in the war as a soldier. Alongside Olivier Messiaen, Alain is the most prominent and innovative organ composers of the 20th century.


For the interpretation of the organ works by these composers, internationally recognised artists have been invited to perform at the Grote Kerk.

The opening concert takes place on Saturday, 20 August, and will feature the well known Hague organist Aarnoud de Groen. De Groen was organist at the Bethlehemkerk and is unanimously considered one of the most talented organists of the younger generation. He has a great affinity with the French romantic organ repertoire and will include during his programme the first organ sonata by Alexandre Guilmant.

The second concert will be performed on Tuesday, 23 August by Cor Ardesch, another prominent Dutch organist. Ardesch is organist at the Grote Kerk in Dordrecht, where he performs on both the great 19th century Kam-organ, as well as the new Bach organ by the company Verschueren. Ardesch is a renowned Bach interpreter, which will be heard on the Metzler organ.

On Wednesday, 24 August, master organist Stephen Tharp from New York plays an exclusive concert at the Grote Kerk. Tharp is one of the leading concert organists of the moment, and will perform well known works by Bach, Mendelssohn and Brahms. He is also set to play an exciting new composition by the American organist/composer George Baker, who specifically wrote work for Stephen Tharp to perform.

The concert on Thursday, 25 August is delivered by the world renowned permanent organ of the Grote Kerk, Ben van Oosten. In 2010, in connection with his 40th anniversary as a concert organist, Van Oosten was royally knighted in the Order of the Dutch Lion. These evening programme features works by Bach, Guilmant, Alain and Liszt.

The final concert of the festival will be given by the young French organist Lydia Sourial (pictured above) and an acclaimed virtuoso French concert organist. This interesting programme is largely devoted to works by Franz Liszt, of whom Lydia has been an outstanding advocate.


When: 20-27 August 2011 ~ concerts begin 20:15, church open from 19:45
Where: Grote Kerk, The Hague
Tickets: € 10,00 / € 8,00 on 24 and 27 August, € 8,00

            € 7,00 on 20, 23 and 25 August


* Discounts apply for 65+/CJP- and Ooievaarspasholders and ‘Vrienden van de Grote Kerk’.


* Children up to 12 years of age, accompanied by an adult, may enter free.

* Tickets (including programme) are only available at the church at the concert itself, from half an hour before the concert.

For further information, contact 070 352 08 49 or or

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