Harald Vogel

VogelHarald Harald Vogel is a leading expert in early German organs and organ music. As the director of the North German Organ Academy, which he founded in 1972, he teaches historical performance practice on the original instruments. He has been professor of organ at the University of the Arts Bremen since 1994.


Recital at Ascension
Last track is an improvisation.

Harald Vogel – Improvisation – Church of the Ascension, Seattle, WA This is the improvisation from the recording above.
Harald Vogel – Improvisation – Frederiksborg, Danemark

Maurice Clerc

Appointed in 1972, Maurice Clerc is Titular Organist of the Cathedral Saint Bénigne in Dijon, France. He studied organ with Suzanne Chaisemartin, Gaston Litaize, and earned his Premier Prix from the Paris Conservatory in the class of Rolande Falcinelli. For several years, he also attended the Académie internationale de Nice where he studied improvisation with Pierre Cochereau. He won first prize in the international improvisation competition in Lyon in 1977.

He will teach at the Church Music Institute of Shenandoah Conservatory during June 14-19, 2015.

Maurice Clerc – Concert Improvisation on an old Noel – Suhr, Switzerland
Maurice Clerc – Free Improvisation – Klais organ

Dorothy Papadakos

Dorothy PapadakosWebsite:

Dorothy Papadakos was mentored as an improviser by Paul Halley before succeeding him as the first woman to be Cathedral Organist of the world’s largest gothic cathedral, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Some of her other teachers include Gerre Hancock, Dennis Keene, Jon Gillock and Lee Erwin. She often accompanies the silent films of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton & Harold Lloyd.


Cafe St John: Improvisations on the Great Organ

Dorothy Over the Rainbow: Improvisations on the Great Organ

Kay Johannsen


YouTube Channel:
You can hear him on Spotify.

Kay Johannsen is Collegiate Cantor and and Director of liturgical music at the Collegiate Church in Stuttgart, Germany. He directs the Stuttgarter Kantorei, the solistenensemble stimmkunst and the Collegiate Philhamonic Stuttgart and oversees a weekly concert series at the church. In addition to numerous recordings of repertoire, he has made three recordings of organ improvisations.


Advent And Christmas Music

Christmas: Improvisations on Christmas Songs


Kay Johannsen – Orgelimprovisation – Mühleisen-Orgel der Stiftskirche
Kay Johannsen – Free Improvisation ‘The Great Wall’ – Stuttgart, Stiftskirche
Kay Johannsen – Orgel-Improvisation über Psalm 57 – Stuttgart, Stiftskirche
Kay Johannsen – Improvisation on “Ode an die Freude’ – Stuttgart, Stiftskirche

Timothy Tikker


Originally from San Francisco, California, Timothy Tikker studied organ and improvisation with Guy Bovet. Through a Ruth Lorraine Close Award from the University of Oregon, he was able to travel to France and study with Jean Langlais. He recently completed his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan under Marilyn Mason. He won First Prize in the National Improvisation Competition in the San Anselmo Organ Festival in 1987 (USA), the Holtkamp-AGO Award in Organ Composition in 1993, and First Prize in the UNESP Organ Composition Competition (Brazil) in 1997.

He is a member of the Concert Artist Cooperative.


Mystic Modern: The Music, Thought, and Legacy of Charles Tournemire
Includes an essay “Performance Practice for the Organ Music of Charles Tournemire” by Timothy Tikker.


The King of Kings (The Criterion Collection)
Timothy Tikker provides organ accompaniment for the 1931 version of the film included in this DVD.

Jan Hage


Jan Hage began organ studies with Kees van Eersel and then entered the Utrechts Conservatorium where his teacher was Jan Welmers. He continued studies in France with André Isoir where he earned his Prémier Prix ‘à l’unanimité du jury’ at the Conservatoire National de Région te Boulogne-Billancourt. He won first prizes in competitions in Leiden, Bolsward, Schaffhausen and Poitiers. In 1995, he was named organist at the Kloosterkerk in Den Haag. He became organist at the Cathedral in Utrecht in 2011. He has recorded several CDs of contemporary organ music.

Jan Hage and Tatiana Koleva – Improvised excerpt of the film ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ – Joriskerk
Jan Hage – Concert Improvisation – Den Haag Kloosterkerk

Gerben Mourik


Gerben Mourik began organ studies with Albert van der Hoeven and Jolanda Zwoferink, and continued studying with Ben van Oosten. At the Brabant Conservatory, he earned his degrees as Performing Musician (levels 1 & 2) while studying with Bram Beekman and Henco de Berg He also studied improvisation privately with Ansgar Wallenhorst and Naji Hakim. Presently he serves as organist of St Michael’s church in Oudewater.

Gerben Mourik won first prize at the National Organ Improvisation Contest in Zwolle in 2003. In the next year, he was a finalist in the International Organ Contest in Haarlem and won first prize in the international organ improvisation contest at St Albans, UK. He was awarded first prize at the International Improvisation Contest in Haarlem in 2008.

Gerben Mourik – Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme – Brouwershaven
Gerben Mourik – O come, o come, Emmanuel – Brouwershaven
Gerben Mourik – Free Improvisation – Apeldoorn

John Vandertuin

JohnVandertuin2Blind from birth, John Vandertuin began studies in music at the Ontario School for the Blind in Brantford, Ontario. He continued studying with Jean Langlais in Paris and later with Piet Kee at Amsterdam’s Sweelinck Conservatorium. Other organ teachers have included John McIntosh, Larry Cortner, and Robert Glasgow. Active as a composer and recitalist, he has won several competitions as well, including first prize in the Improvisation category of the National Healey Willan Organ Competition (1980) and second prize in the San Anselmo (California) Improvisation Competition (1987, 89). He was invited twice to compete in the International Improvisation Competition in Haarlem, the Netherlands, one of only two Canadians ever to receive this invitation.

John Vandertuin – Entry in the 33rd Haarlem Improvisation Competition

Bernard Bartelink


Bernard Bartelink (1929-2014) studied organ with Albert de Klerk at the Dutch Institute for Catholic Church Music in Utrecht. He continued his studies at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Anthon van der Horst, earning a Prix d’Excellence in 1954. Winner of the Haarlem Improvisation Competition in 1961, he also served on the jury for the competition four times between 1969 and 1996. He held the position of organist at St. Bavo from 1971 until 1999. He was professor of organ and improvisation at the Amsterdam Conservatory until 1989.

Entry in the 11th Haarlem Improvisation Competition
Entry in the 12th Haarlem Improvisation Competition

Herbert Buffington

HerbertBuffingtonHerbert Buffington won Second Prize in the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation at the 2010 National Convention in Washington, D.C. He earned degrees from Duke University and the Peabody Conservatory of Music at The Johns Hopkins University. He also studied at the Vienna International Music Center and the Hochshule für Musik in Vienna, Austria. His organ teachers have included Fenner Douglass, Robert Parkins, Peter Planyavsky and Donald Sutherland. His improvisation teachers have included Bruce Neswick, David Dahl, and Gerre Hancock. He presently serves as organist at Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia.


Joy to the World-Christmas Improvisations