Fish, chips and organs (interview with three young organists)

by Han Leentvaar |Het ORGEL |Year 96 |(2000) |Issue 2

 

Jan-Piet Knijff Fish, chips and organs (interview with three young organists)
Het ORGEL 96 (2000), nr. 2, 30-34 [summary]

Jan-Piet Knijff interviewed three relatively young Dutchorganists about the way they try to make their concerts interesting to a larger audience.Geert Bierling (1956), city organist of Rotterdam, plays transcriptions of famousorchestra pieces. His concerts in concert hall De Doelen are attended by an average of 900people. Jetty Podt (1963) is organist of the St.-Stevenskerk at Nijmegen. She organisesorgan concerts for children. In the Stevenskerk also organ & film-concerts take place.Podt says that she hopes to make people better acquainted with the organ in that way, notto teach them to appreciate – for example – Messiaen at the same time. Johan Luijmes(1963) is organist at the Eusebiuskerk at Arnhem. He wants to promote music in general anduse that as a basis to interest the audience. He organises’Jazz-organ-concerts’: ‘I am not aiming at getting a large audience when Iorganise a concert. The point is that you have to offer quality.’ Bierling thinksthat the number of people listening to organs is important: ‘I have in fact a shop; Ilike selling music to the people.’ Jetty Podt distinguishes two steps: she wants tooffer quality, but thinks that it is important to reach as many people as possible aswell: ‘Giving a concert makes no sense when nobody is listening.’ The threeorganists are not happy with the museum-culture they recognise in the organ world.Bierling stresses that it is important to entertain. Podt finds the contact between theorganist and the audience very important. Luijmes states that the haute cuisine ofhistoricism can be marvellous, but that fish & chips can be delicious too.