Whaddya mean ‘King of Instruments’? A Symposium on the future of Dutch Organ Culture by Jan Smelik

by Jan Smelik | Het ORGEL | Year 103 | (2007) | Issue 1

Jan Smelik Whaddya mean ‘King of Instruments’? A Symposium on the future of Dutch Organ Culture.
Het ORGEL 103 (2007), nr. 1, xx-xx [summary]

On the 21st of November, 2005, the Association Dutch Platform for Organ Art and Culture (Vereniging Nederlands Platform voor Orgelkunst en -cultuur, VNPO) held a symposium on the future of Dutch Organ Art in De Doelen in Rotterdam.
The day was organized for cultural policy makers, concert hall organizations, concert and festival organizers, church trustees, organists and organ lovers. Short speeches were given by eight people from the world of music, among them a musical journalist, a director of a concerthall, some organizers of organ events, and a couple of city organists.
The morning session was primarily intended to outline the threats to a flourishing organ culture. The afternoon session was more directed to possible solutions to those problems and to aspects that stimulate organ culture. These aspects became apparent from taking a closer look at the thriving organ life in Amsterdam, Haarlem, Nijmegen and Rotterdam. One aspect emphasized in all the lectures was the idea that quality is crucial.
That means not only striving to get “the best organists playing the best music on the best organs”, but also that quality and professionalism are equally important in the areas of organisation, management and publicity.