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8th International Organ Competition Musashino-Tokyo

by admin, Articles

8th International Organ Competition  Musashino-Tokyo

8th International Organ Competition Musashino-Tokyo Open to All Organists with No Age Limit For the First Prize Winner: JPY 1,200,000 Concerts in Japan CD release on NAXOS with worldwide distribution Jury: Guy BOVET, chair Hans-Ola ERICSSON Francois ESPINASSE Bernhard HAAS HIROE Rie Susan LANDALE SHIN Dong-ill Audition Jury: KOBAYASHI Hideyuki Jürgen ESSL FASSANG László Venue: Musashino Civic Cultural Hall, Tokyo Organ: Marcussen & Søn (1984) Prospectus: http://www.musashino-culture.or.jp/iocm/pdf/8_prospectus_en.pdf Application Form: http://www.musashino-culture.or.jp/iocm/pdf/8_application_form_en.pdf The deadline of the application is 20 January 2017 (postmark) Secretariat 8th International Organ Competition Musashino-Tokyo c/o Musashino Shimin Bunka Kaikan 3-9-11 Naka-cho, Musashino, Tokyo 180-0006 JAPAN Tel: +81-(0)422-54-8822 Fax: +81-(0)422-54-2014 www.musashino-culture.or.jp/iocm e-mail:...

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Ground-breaking retrofit stepper system for pipe organs

by Maggie Pemberton, Articles

Ground-breaking retrofit stepper system for pipe organs

News from Maggie Pemberton in Munich Dear Club Members, This time I would like to tell you about a ground-breaking retrofit stepper system which has only just hit the market.  It is a registered Utility Model and has been developed by Munich-based Burkhard Fischer of “fionic GmbH, Ingenieurbüro für Softwareentwicklung”.  Burkhard Fischer is an organ-player and engineer in one – but modestly declines to be regarded as a kind of “organists’ Einstein”. One of the most striking aspects of the fionic system is the fact that it is external.  Everything can be prepared with great ease and at lightning speed with a few simple mouse clicks on a small laptop or “notebook”.  Another handy feature is that there is a menu in which you can store your combinations alphabetically (e.g. by composer), numerically (e.g. by BWV number) or even by recital date or type of church service. Installation, carried out by Burkhard Fischer personally, is unobtrusive.  There are only some cables at the back of the console; the couple of new pistons/toe pistons go virtually unnoticed and the only other thing you see is the laptop itself, which is normally placed somewhere on the console near the music desk, and which can be disconnected and locked away after use. The dimensions of this new invention can be more readily grasped when you consider the rather unwieldy five-manual console of the Theatinerkirche here in Munich, which basically has just the typical three rows of “free combinations” on offer.  This is obviously enough to accompany a Mass, but clearly presents a concert organist with severe limitations. Exterior of the Theatinerkirche. To the left and in the background, the green domes on the west towers of the Cathedral or “Frauenkirche” Interior of the Theatinerkirche (length 72.5m, width 15.5m, height 28.55m). The pipes of the Schuster organ are concealed in a high chamber opposite the pulpit Closer view of the high altar and east end. Most of the Eisenbarth ranks are underneath the visible pipes behind the altar Pedals of the Theatinerkirche console. Bottom row left are the 5 new toe pistons for the free combinations, plus an extra + stepper piston to the left of the crescendo roller. Bottom row right are the +/- steppers and the canceller (0) Console of the Theatinerkirche with the laptop at top right. Some new pistons can be seen under the dial on the left side of the music desk St. Rupert Ingolstadt       One of the most hair-raising hazards in the Theatinerkirche is the fact that several rows of vital couplers etc. are located effectively out of sight behind the music desk.  Once you’ve put up a Bach album or the gigantic RC hymnbook (measuring approx. 30x23x5 cm when closed and weighing in at over 2 kilos) you have no chance whatsoever of checking – let alone spontaneously altering – what’s going on there. When playing at this console you have to swivel your head wildly from left to right, run your eyes up and down extensive arrays of knobs, scan across all the thumb pistons and squint down around your feet if you suddenly feel the urge to check which ranks and couplers you’ve actually drawn while in the middle of a hymn.  This is exceedingly difficult.  Especially if you are simultaneously trying to keep one eye on the tiny monitor (located during Mass on the top left of the console) focused on the priest, and the other eye on the capricious bulky gadget designed for the organist to indicate the hymn and verse numbers for the congregation in the nave (located...

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Carol Williams Eastern Europe Tour 2004

by Carol Williams, Essays

Carol Williams Eastern Europe Tour 2004

Carol Williams Toccata “Suite Gothique”, Op. 25 (Léon Boëllmann) (MP3)  Copyright 2001 Melcot Music I am the Civic Organist of San Diego and I spend all my time performing concerts — either in San Diego or around the USA and abroad. I love to travel and feel it is a vital part of my exisitence as it keeps me on my toes! Going to a new country and savoring a different organ and acoustics is fascinating. In 2004, I had two visits to the UK, a trip to Canada, Germany, Poland and Czech Republic. My visit to Poland and Prague were extremely fascinating and I have highlighted some of the moments I spent on this wonderful tour. I flew from San Diego early on August 9th and arrived in Prague, the “City of One Hundred Spires”, the next morning. After being met at the airport by Irena Chribkova, the organist of St. James Basilica, I was given the hospitality of the quarters of the Basilica, located close to Prague’s “Old Town Square”. At night, one could hear the chimes of the 1410 Town Hall Horologe. On another night, a dramatic thunderstorm highlighted the historic skyline of this, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, and I recommend a visit if you ever have the opportunity. The oldest organ in St. James’ dates from the beginning of the 18th century following a major fire at the church in 1689. The present instrument, reconstructed by Rieger-Kloss, is extremely powerful and magical acoustics enhance the listening experience. The stunning 1705 case is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen in my travels. Major work by Rieger-Kloss was done between 1981-82 including restoring the specification of the early work of Abraham Stark in 1705. The present instrument has four manuals with ninety-one speaking stops. There is also a small choir organ of mechanical action with slider chests in the gallery to the right of the chancel but the builder is unknown yet, its pipes show numerous similarities with the large organ at the rear of the church. I did not use this instrument in my concert, but I really enjoyed playing it. My concert was part of the 9th International Organ Festival and this year was in honor of Petr Eben who celebrated his 75th birthday on 22nd January. In the program, I included the moving Requiem from his Faust For Organ composed in 1976. The concert was sponsored by the American Embassy and the U.S. Ambassador to Czech Republic was in attendance. The concert was recorded for later broadcast by Prague Radio — I truly relished the opportunity to present a program on this magnificent organ. Following Prague, I flew via Vienna and Kraków to start a concert tour of southern Poland. The first was at the Monastery in the historic town of Jedrzejow. The Monastery dates from 1210 with the present organ being constructed between 1745-54 in the workshop of Polish organ builder Józef Sitarski. The instrument has four manuals, the fourth being a “pull-out” beneath the lowest fixed manual. It’s sole purpose is to transpose — a most unusual feature. The stop knobs are actually cast bronze handles and the instrument’s entire mechanism has survived intact. The blue and gold screen is stupendous and is located on the western wall of the main isle of the church. The wood casing was executed in the monastery workshop with the ornamentation coming from the wood-carving workshop of the Kornecki family of Kraków. My concert was part of the International Festival of Organ and Chamber Music, initiated in 1993, and takes place every July and August. Staying...

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Straightforward Organ Music

by Colin Mawby, Articles

Colin Mawby Composer profile from MelBay There are many levels of contemporary organ composition ranging from the extremely difficult to the very straightforward. Most organ composers wish to be seen as great writers who produce difficult and challenging pieces which will achieve quick recognition and be played by the world’s top virtuosi. This is a praiseworthy ambition but it is rarely fulfilled. If one studies the ability of organists one sees that about 95% are ordinary players who perform in church on Sundays on not very good instruments. Of these 95%, very few are professional players and many have only a basic technique. Many are reasonably open-minded about repertoire and welcome new music which is written for players of their ability who have little time to practice. They take great pride in their work and always offer their insights and talents to congregations and give them voluntaries which raise their hearts and minds to the Creator. I plead for composers to write for this important group; take it seriously and produce music which is tuneful, attractive and appealing. These organists are never going to play virtuoso music – they can manage a simplified version of Widor’s Toccata but not much beyond this. If one looks at the great output of French organ music, one sees that composers like Franck, Lefebure-Wely and others wrote much very pleasant music for precisely this market. It did not prevent them establishing a reputation as great virtuoso composers – quite the contrary. Contemporary composers should write for this market and extend its repertoire. Many ordinary organists will applaud and thank them for doing this essential and valuable work. Colin Mawby Contact information: Colin Mawby 136 High Street Needham Market IP6 8DW UK Phone Number:  0044 144 972 3321 E-mail Address: contact@colinmawby.com Website Have you ever wondered how to get those professional touches which add sparkle to your choir’s performance? Go to Music-for-Church-Choirs.com to find advice, information, and regular free choirtraining from Colin Mawby in the monthly...

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An Organist’s Life in Israel

by By Roman Krasnovsky, Articles

At the music presentation for Itzhak Rabin Sarabande from Symphony for Organ #1, ‘Jewish’ (excerpt, MP3) I learned to play organ in the Gorky conservatory in the class of Russian organist Galina Kozlova, who, unfortunately, died at the peak of her artistic career. In 1990 I emigrated to Israel, unaware that in Israel an organist is about as useful as an Arctic researcher. Nonetheless, I soon became involved in various concerts and festivals, which gave me hope for a bright musical future. I was especially proud to perform frequently with musicians from the famous Tel-Aviv Symphony Orchestra. My concert activity I started the career of a concert organist through meeting a Swiss lady, Margrit Pfister. While she was neither a musician nor artist manager, she very successfully arranged my organ performances in various countries. Organist and musicologist Peter Brusius from Marburg also helped me immensely. I dedicated my organ symphonies No. 2 and 3 to Margrit and Peter. Thus, I have been concertizing throughout Europe for 13 years. I am fortunate to have performed in: Berlin Dom Berlin, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis Church Rome, Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri Marburg, St. Elisabeth Church Düsseldorf, Neander Church Basel Cathedral (also for “Commemorating the 1st Zionist Congress) Basel, St. Peter Church Jerusalem, all churches Rotterdam, St. Laurens Church Frankfurt am Main, St.Katharin Church And, of course, Cologne Cathedral, where I flew just hours after having participated in my wife’s labor and delivery of our child. In the future, there are performances planned in München Dom, in Gent Cathedral, in Dresden’s Kreuzkirche, and in Luxemburg’s Sacre-Coeur. My life in Israel as organist and composer I made my home in northern Israel, in the lovely town of Carmiel. It is quite far from the cultural centers. There I started teaching piano in the local conservatory. Of course, it was impossible to make a living on the conservatory salary, and through a big personal favor I obtained a job very far removed from organ music — in the department of street sanitation. When the Israeli media learned about this, I was featured in the news and the most popular TV shows. There were films made about me, and I became so well known that people recognized me in the streets and stopped their cars to say “hello” to me. That’s when I got a call from the office of then-Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin and was asked to perform at one of his meetings. An electronic organ, “Johannus”, was brought, and I played Bach chorales (whose content doesn’t fit Judaism very well), and the “Toccata without Fugue” in d. Everyone was very happy, and Rabin said he’s known about me for a while and values me. In 1993 I was invited to the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem to teach organ. In spite of the long distance between my home and the Academy (200 km/124 miles) I drove there once a week after my night job, taught organ, and returned the same day to work at night once again. This lasted for four years. There was no pipe organ in the Academy, and my lessons were taught on the electronic “Johannus” to the very few people in Israel who want to study organ. I started composing for the organ after the 1995 assassination of Itzhak Rabin. My first piece is titled “Mourning Itzhak Rabin”. For a long time, I wanted to hear Jewish music on the organ, and decided to start contributing to that cause. After a few new pieces, I composed the “Jewish Symphony” for the organ, which became my “calling card”. Swiss...

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Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City — pictures of facade and stops

by Lou Hurst and Lana Krakovskiy, Sights and Sounds

Organ stop pictures by Lou Hurst. Organ facade and building exterior pictures by Lana Krakovskiy.  

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