Adriaan Engels (1906–2003) by Johann Th. Lemckert

by Johann Th. Lemckert | Het ORGEL | Year 103 | (2007) | Issue 1

Johann Th. Lemckert Adriaan Engels (1906–2003)
Het ORGEL 103 (2007), nr. 1, xx-xx [summary]

Adriaan Engels, born in Haarlem in 1906, first studied organ with George Robert, organist of the St.-Bavo church in Haarlem, and music theory with Leo Smit. Later he studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Cornelis de Wolf, Sem Dresden and others. In 1932, at the age of 25, he was named titular organist of the Great or St.-Jacobskerk in The Hague and appointed first teacher of organ and theoretical subjects at the Royal Conservatory there. His instrument was the Witte organ of 1882 that was replaced in 1971 by the present Metzler organ.
Engels worked in The Hague until 1972. As member and secretary of the Organ Committee of the Dutch Reformed Church he had great influence on postwar organ building, serving as consultant for many restorations and new organs (Haarlem, Maassluis, Rotterdam et al.). Particularly after the disastrous flood of 1953 many new organs were built in which the influence of the German and Danish ‘Orgelbewegung’ was evident. He composed primarily church music (published by Ars Nova, Harmonia et al.), including works for organ, organ with brass, choral music both a cappella and accompanied, hymn melodies, and many arrangements for the Hervormde Bundel 1938 and the Liedboek voor de Kerken (1973). His musical estate, which has been completely inventoried, contains however many times more manuscripts than published works.
Engels also had a great reputation as conscientious organ and theory teacher. Many of his students were appointed organist in prominent Dutch churches. His Bach and Franck interpretations were famed, and as a pioneer of newer organ music he was one of the first in The Netherlands to play the works of Hindemith, Distler, and Pepping.

Link to the the Catalogue with works of Adriaan Engels