Festival Voor de Wind [i.e. Festival Flying High]: starting shot by Christo Lelie, Johan Luijmes

by Christo Lelie, Johan Luijmes | Het ORGEL | Year 98 | (2002) | Issue 6

Christo Lelie, Johan Luijmes Festival Voor de Wind [i.e. Festival Flying High]: starting shot
Het ORGEL 98 (2002), nr. 6, 26-31 [summary]

On 7 September, Christo Lelie, Johan Luijmes and Joost Langeveld gave lectures on the future of organ culture. The lectures were part of the program of the ‘starting shot-day’ of the Festival Voor de Wind [i.e. Festival Flying High], which is scheduled to take place in 2003.
Christo Lelie identified secularisation as a problem: many churches are being closed. Furthermore, he expected that multicultural societies would not as automatically take care of Christian-oriented heritage. Lelie analysed the strong aspects of the organ (versatility, history, combination of art and craft) and weak aspects (bad image, expensive, unmoveable). Lelie said that organists and audiences are to blame for the bad image – not the organ itself, which offers opportunities to do something about it. Proper programming of recitals (combining the organ with other instruments) and professional PR are essential, Lelie stated. 
Johan Luijmes told about an improvisation recital in Arnhem. The themes the audience wanted the organists to improvise on were well-known themes from operas, symphonies and of course church songs. Luijmes concluded that programming properly is an art in itself. He argued that it might be worthwhile to focus on specific target groups: an evening with ecclesiastical hymns could be programmed in a series of concerts, as well as a Weckmann-recital and a concert with the latest works of Kylie Minogue.
Luijmes mentioned an initiative of the Foundation Utopa as an example of the way new target groups can be confronted with the organ. Primary schools have been sent a video in which an educational programme is offered, which connects not only music, but also history and technique to the art of the organ.
The lecture of Joost Langeveld will be published in the next issue of het ORGEL.