• About GIOA

    The Göteborg International Organ Academy spotlights the remarkable organ landscape of the city of Göteborg with concerts and lectures by leading organists from around the world. The Göteborg International Organ Festival and The Göteborg Youth Organ Festival are cross-cultural platforms for early and new music, with the goal of being a sought after entrance to a world of tactile passion and new sounds - for all!


    In presenting the Göteborg Organ Festival GIOA wants to broaden and deepen public interest in the organ art by further developing ways of meeting our audiences, offering programs where new artistic expressions can meet new audiences and we continually strive to focus on creating opportunities for children and young people to pleasurably explore new worlds together.

    Photo: Sven Andersson



    The Göteborg Organ Festival 2020 is organized by the Göteborg International Organ Academy Association in cooperation with the Academy of of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg, the Church of Sweden, the City Library of Gothenburg, the Gothenburg Symphony, Göteborg Baroque, Gageego!, ilDance and others, and with support from the City of Gothenburg, West Sweden, Musikverket and Statens Kulturråd, sponsors and various foundations.

    The Academy was created in 1994 to provide a meeting place for everyone interested in the art of the organ, enabling them to share and collect new knowledge, to find artistic inspiration and to enjoy great performances on the numerous top-quality instruments in Göteborg. The Academy is unique in bringing together students, teachers, instrument builders, scholars, performers and friends of the organ art, offering an international forum for dialogue and discussion within an inspiring and exciting Scandinavian environment.

    The Academy builds on the interdisciplinary research that has been carried out within GOArt’s various research and instrument building projects since 1995, and provides a program that integrates current research at GOArt, the Academy of Music and Drama, and the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts at the University of Gothenburg.

    The Academy has a broad collection of organs and related keyboard instruments at its disposal, crowned by the four-manual North German Baroque Organ in meantone temperament, built by GOArt within an interdisciplinary organ research program. In addition, a number of other fine instruments have been added to Gothenburg’s organ landscape.

    In 2021, a new organ built by Rieger Orgelbau, Schwarzach, Austria, for the Gothenburg concert hall will be inaugurated. The new organ is built in close collaboration with an international reference group consisting of Hans-Ola Ericsson, Koos van de Linde, Nathan Laube, Paul Peeters, Joris Verdin, Magnus Kjellson (Gothenburg Symphony), and chaired by Hans Davidsson.


    Since 2017, the scope of the Academy has been expanded, developing into an organ festival for the the whole city and with programs for all ages.


    For almost 400 years Gothenburg has looked outwards toward the sea and the world beyond. Our city was built and planned by Dutch and Germans. As a maritime city of trade and industry we have fostered close relationships and been able to exchange skills with many other countries. International contacts, outside influences and people from different cultures have always been an asset to Gothenburg, and still are today.


    As of 2017, GIOA aims to further strengthen the city´s international organ profile what with being a part of the city´s 400 years anniversary in 2021. The goal is to achieve international impact not only by making Gothenburg an organ city of highest world rank, but in taking part of making Gothenburg a city where residents enjoy living, feel involved and have a sense of pride and confidence in the future.


    In making Gothenburg a city of tactile passion and new sounds.



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    The Göteborg International Organ Academy has been proud to welcome outstanding scholars and musicians to explore and celebrate many different instruments and musical repertoires over the years. Here is a look back at previous academies and festivals.


    In 1994 we celebrated the installation of the first John Brombaugh organ in Europe, the meantone baroque organ installed in the Haga Church in 1992.


    In 1996 the 1871 Willis organ, recently restored by Tostared, as well as the 1783 Schiörlin organ in Jonsered (partial restoration by Herwin Troje, 1991) were featured.


    In 1998 we celebrated the installation of the new French symphonic organ built by Verschueren for the Academy of Music and Drama. We also visited the 1854 Marcussen organ in the Synagogue, newly restored by Karl Nelson.


    In 2000 we celebrated the international inauguration of the research organ built by GOArt to explore the world of the great seventeenth-century organ builder Arp Schnitger.


    In 2002 we celebrated the renovation carried out by Grönlunds of the 1909 Eskil Lundén organ in the Vasa Church.


    In 2004 our focus was on the restoration of the 1861 Marcussen organ in the Haga Church carried out by Åkerman & Lund.


    In 2006 the Marcussen/Magnusson organ in the German Church newly renovated by Tostareds was featured.


    In 2007 the so-called Bjurum organ, built by Nicolaus Manderscheidt in 1650 (restored by Mads Kjersgaard in 1972-76) was featured.


    In 2009 the newly built choir organ by Tostared in the Cathedral was featured.


    In 2011 we celebrated the Walker organ in Christ the King Catholic Church, restored by Tostared and installed in 2010.


    In 2012 we revisited John Brombaugh’s organ in Haga and GOArt’s research organ in Örgryte New Church, exploring two themes: North German Chorale Fantasias and Georg Böhm’s Organ Works in Meantone.


    In 2013, we explored many facets of the organ music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a special emphasis on sound recordings. We also visited several organs in Göteborg.


    In 2014 we turned our focus to the eighteenth century by way of JS Bach, his students and his sons, exploring the rich landscape of keyboard instruments of eighteenth-century central Europe.


    In 2015 the theme was “French Crescendo and German Diminuendo: Character and Context in 19th-Century European Organ Art”.


    In 2016 the theme was “Power and Expression from Past to Present: Pictures (film and “lumière”) and the pictorial in organ music”.


    In 2017 the theme was “Bach and the Lutheran Legacy” & “Female Organists and Composers”.


    In 2018 the theme was "The Cosmic Soundscapes of the Organ", celebrating Bengt Hambréus (1928-2000).


    In 2019 the theme was ”The Organ as a Mechanical Musical Marvel” celebrating Sven-Eric Johanson (1919-1997).


    In 2020 the theme was "Art and Music in Times of Crisis" celebrating Torsten Nilsson (1920-1999).








    Aspects such as gender equality, LGBTQ, diversity and intercultural perspectives are considered in the planning of the association's activities, eg the festival program. One of our central goals is to highlight female organists and composers in programming and artist selection, another to make the organ available to children and young people.


    The work of increasing the accessibility for the function varied is continuously being developed, among other things through information on hearing aids, whether interpretation and text interpretation will be given etc. We also work to reduce or eliminate physical barriers in our public spaces, such as minor level differences or steps, lack of handrails, heavy doors, poor lighting, lack of contrast marking, lack of telecoil loop or other technical solution in the entrances etc.


    With our digital communication, we want to increase the opportunities for increased participation.