Summer Improv Courses 2016

The Summer is a popular time for conferences and special courses. Here’s a list of opportunities to study improvisation at the organ this summer. If you know of others, please email me or share them in the comments so that I can add them to the website.

This summer is also the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists. It will take place in Houston July 19-23. Typically there is an improvisation competition and several workshop presentations on improvisation during the convention. I only spotted one improvisation workshop: Adagio Lost and Adagio Regained:
A Study of the Lost Art of Improvising in the Adagio Genre, with Emphasis on Handel’s Organ Concertos presented by HyeHyun Sung. The NCOI competition was restructured for this year with the preliminary round taking place last summer. (See my critique here.) No information about the competition is currently on the Houston website…

I am still considering offering a couple of days of improvisation instruction here. If you would be interested in coming to study with me at the Cathedral July 28-30, 2016, please let me know. Space for active participants will be limited. If there is sufficient interest, I’ll share more details soon.

Hoping you take some time this summer to improvise better,

Glenn


Newsletter Issue 58 – 2016 04 21

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Jürgen Essl

essl_juergenWebsite:
http://www.juergen-essl.de/

Jürgen Essl studied organ in Germany and France with Ludger Lohmann and Francis Chapelet, later completing his studies in Vienna with Michael Radulescu. A Professor at The Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart since 2003, Jürgen Essl has also served as Professor for Organ at the Musikhochschule Lübeck and an organist at the Castle Church of Sigmaringen. He has released several recordings of improvisations available through www.ORGANpromotion.org. He is a co-founder of the International Summer Academy of Music – ISAM in Ochsenhausen, Germany.

Videos:
Jürgen Essl – ESPACIOS – Mallorca

International Organ Festival Haarlem 2014

StBavoHaarlem

In 1951, Louis Toebosch won the first International Organ Improvisation Competition. He was to be followed by Anton Heiller in 1952, Piet Kee (1953, 1954, 1955) and many other organists who later became internationally known names. Winning ‘Haarlem’ was, and is, the first step to an international career. Even just taking part in the competition has helped launch many a career, as the names of the numerous famous organists among the previous participants testify.

The final round of the 50th Haarlem Improvisation competition takes place this evening. The themes for the final round were composed this year by Louis Andriessen, who descends from a famous family of Haarlem musicians. Threefold winner Hans Haselböck (1958/59/60) wrote the theme for the first round. For the second round the renowned Dutch composer Roderik de Man provided material, accompanied by videos for the audience created by the sound and video artist Marcel Wierckx. The competitors have only one hour to prepare their improvisations with the help of a pencil and paper (but not an instrument).

Beginning from 22 applications from 11 countries, the following 8 contestants were selected to compete in the first of three live rounds from 14-18 July: Jacob Lekkerkerker, Geerten Liefting and Harmen Trimp (Netherlands), David Cassan (France), Lukas Grimm and Tobias Wittmann (Germany), Morten Ladehoff (Denmark) and Luke Mayernik (USA). Four have been selected to continue to the final round at St. Bavo’s Church.

The jury, chaired by Stephen Taylor, includes five internationally renowned organists: David Briggs (Canada), Jürgen Essl (Germany), Zuzana Ferjencikova (Slovakia/France), Gilbert Amy (France) and Jan Hage (the Netherlands).

A livestream may be available here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/orgelfestival.

2014 Summer Courses

In addition to the offerings at the AGO National Convention in Boston, there are several other courses around the world offering improvisation instruction during the summer of 2014. Please feel free to share information about other courses in the comments. I will try to add to the list as I find out about other offerings.

London Organ Improvisation Course
http://www.loic.org.uk
15-18 July 2014
The London Organ Improvisation Course is intended to help organists of all standards to improve their improvising skills for personal musical development, service-playing, concerts and for the examinations of the Royal College of Organists. One day of the course will take place in St. Albans and will include a concert by the guest teacher, Franz Josef Stoiber, Organist of Regensberg Cathedral, Germany. Other teachers for the course include: Ronny Krippner, Duncan Middleton, and Gerard Brooks, Course Director.

Masterclass: Masters Of Ste Clotilde
http://steclotilde-organ.tk/
Monday June 30 to Wednesday July 2 2014
Monday to Wednesday, morning: (9h-12h):
Franck, Tournemire, Pierne, Duruflé, Bonnal, Langlais, Cogen,…
Monday and Tuesday Afternoon (14h-17h): Improvisation
with Olivier Penin and Nicolas Pichon

Classical Music On The Spot:
Eighteenth-Century Keyboard Improvisation

Eastman School of Music • 26 Gibbs St. • Rochester, NY 14604
Workshop I: June 30-July 4 / Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Workshop II: July 7-11 / Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Gilad Rabinovitch & Johnandrew Slominski, directors
Two weeklong 18th-century keyboard improvisation workshops in which students will hone their improvisation skills and deepen their understanding of the galant and high classical styles. There will be a special emphasis on the Italian tradition of partimenti and on Robert Gjerdingen’s galant schemata as a basis for keyboard improvisation. Analysis and listening will complement practical improvisation activities. The first workshop will be an introduction to style improvisation; the second workshop will examine advanced topics (including ornamentation and performance practice) and treatises (Quantz, C.P.E. Bach, Niedt, and the Langloz Manuscript).

Haarlem International Summer Academy for Organists
http://www.organfestival.nl
12 – 26 July 2014
Improvisation for advanced students: an extended, 11-day course for advanced improvisers directed by Jürgen Essl (Stuttgart) and Peter Planyavsky (Vienna).
Improvisation for beginners: A 5-day course with the Haarlem Stadsorganist Jos van der Kooy, well-known for his sympathetic and encouraging approach to professional organists lacking improvisation skills.

International Summer Organ Conservatoire
http://organconservatoire.org/
July 12th – 28th 2014
Directed by Nigel Allcoat with guests, Prof. Erwin Wiersinga (Berlin University of Arts and the Martinikerk, Groningen), and Prof. William Whitehead (London). The first week is in Saint-Antoine l’Abbaye (12-19 July) and the second week is in Poligny (20-28 July).

The Saessolsheim Organ Academy 2014
http://www.asamos.org/
23-30 July 2014
Saessolsheim, Alsace, France
Improvisation instruction will be offered during this course by Francis Jacob.

Smarano Organ and Clavichord Academy
The 18th Century Fantasia and C.P.E. Bach
29 Jul – 8 Aug, Venice-Smarano, Italy
Will include sessions on improvisation: “Free Fantasia” and “Stylus Fantasticus” at the keyboards by William Porter and Edoardo Bellotti.

South German Organ Academy OAO 2014
31 July – 3 August 2014
Organ class on the 1784 Holzhey Organ in Obermarchtal Monastery with a visit to the ISAM (International Summer Academy of Music) Organ Class in Ochsenhausen with Jürgen Essl.
Johannes Mayr will teach a participant’s free choice of repertoire from early Baroque to early Romantic and/or improvisation.

Organ course with Ansgar Wallenhorst
Glenstal Abbey
County Limerick, Ireland
August 11th-13th 2014
Taught by Ansgar Wallenhorst, this workshop is open to organists at every level of ability who wish to develop their own creativity in improvisation either in the context of liturgical services or in concert performance. With a combination of group work in the mornings (9.00-12.00) and individual lessons in the afternoon (15.00-17.45), the workshop will be adapted to the abilities, tastes and preferences of the individual participants. Participants are invited to bring music which they already play or are learning as an indication and basis for developing according to their own level and stylistic preferences. Evening sessions will include, on Monday, an exploration of improvisational style in Irish traditional music Cas Amhrán Cráifeach – a poetics of religious and secular song from the Irish sean-nós tradition with Nóirín Ní Riain PhD, and a short recital on Tuesday.

International Organ Academy Improvisation Course
1-5 September 2014
Improvisation course by Thierry Escaich on the Schwenkedel organ of the St Donat Church (France)

Faszination Orgelimprovisation
3–6 September 2014, Waldsassen, Germany
Course for Organists by Franz Josef Stoiber