SOPP558: Hans Davidsson on the Upcoming Gothenburg International Organ Festival 2020 "The Organ as Mirror of Its Time"
Welcome to Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast 558!
Today's guest is Hans Davidsson, Artistic Director of Göteborg International Organ Festival & Göteborg International Organ Academy.
Hans Davidsson (born 1958) is a Swedish organist and organ teacher. He was one of the driving forces behind establishing the organ research center GOArt and the Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative. He is currently professor of organ at the Royal Danish Academy of Music.
Davidsson studied organ at University of Gothenburg with Hans Fagius and Rune Wåhlberg. He later spent three years at the Sweelinck Conservatory, Amsterdam, studying with Jacques van Oortmerssen. He began teaching organ at Göteborg University in 1986 and was appointed professor in 1988. In 1991 he became the first doctor of music performance in Sweden, successfully defending his dissertation on the organ music of Matthias Weckmann. From 1995 until 2000 he was the director of the Göteborg Organ Art Center, GOArt, leading research in organ building and performance practice.
From 2001 to 2012 he worked at the Eastman School of Music serving as professor of organ and project director of the Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative. In 2007 he was appointed professor of organ at University of the Arts Bremen and in 2011 professor of organ at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. In January 2004 he was awarded H. M. The King's Medal for "significant accomplishments in musicology and music, primarily in the fields of organ research and organ education". In 2015, he was awarded the Large Prize by the Frobenius Foundation in Denmark for “significant achievements as musicologist, pedagogue and musician”. In 2016, he was elected member of the Royal Academy of Music in Sweden.
In this conversation Hans Davidsson shares his insights about the upcoming Gothenburg International Organ Festival 2020 "The Organ as Mirror of Its Time".
Listen to the conversation
Have you always wanted to organize an international organ festival but were afraid or didn't know the steps which are necessary for such a serious endeavor? In this article, I will give you 14 tips you could use before organizing a successful international organ festival.
1) Decide who will organize the festival. If you work at a church, perhaps your church could be the organizer. Other options include founding a concert organization or approaching an existing organization for hosting a festival. Since you are the initiator of the project, you can be the Artistic Director of the festival.
2) Decide on the name of your festival. Think about how your festival will be named. The name could include the name of the city or the institution, or the theme etc.
3) Decide on the venue. Think about were your festival is going to take place - a church or a concert hall.
4) Decide on the date. Think about the specific time frame for your festival. Is it going to be around Christmas, or Easter, or in the summer or in the fall?
5) Consider the instrument. It is important you think about what kind of organ will be available for you and what kind of style this organ is built it.
6) Consider the theme of your festival. It is best not just to put a few concerts together. Instead think about the general idea or the theme. Your festival could be structured around some specific historical period or national style or organ composer.
7) Decide on the number of concerts. Think about how many concerts will you have in your festival. I find that the minimum number for a festival is 3. If you are just starting out, perhaps aim low and later expand to more concerts.
8) Choose organists. Think about the people who are going to play for you. Do you have your favorite organists whom you could invite? It is always a good idea to invite your friends and people whom you know and trust to play. Otherwise you can do some research.
9) Communicate with your congregation. If you are planning this festival at your church, talk with your pastor or priest and with some people from your congregation about it and ask for their support.
10) Calculate the expenses. Think about the expenses which are going to occur. Your budget will depend on your expenses.
11) Find private or corporate sponsors. Write down all the expenses of the festival and approach possible sponsors for support and donations. It is best to talk to them in person.
12) Look for foundations. There are plenty of cultural foundations available which might consider giving you some financial assistance.
13) Approach the city government for financial support. A lot of times the government of the particular city also supports cultural programs like this which help to spread the word about the city.
14) Contact the organists. Write or call your prospective artists who you think would be good for your festival. Describe your festival and the conditions of participation.
Although there are many more steps you could take in organizing your festival, the above points are a good start to ensure that your festival is going to be successful.
By the way, do you want to learn to play the King of Instruments - the pipe organ? If so, download my FREE video guide "How to Master Any Organ Composition" in which I will show you my EXACT steps, techniques, and methods that I use to practice, learn and master any piece of organ music: http://www.organduo.lt/organ-tutorial.html
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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