• Göteborg International Organ Festival

    October 9-20, 2024


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    Hans Davidsson Artistic Director


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    Ulrike Heider Co-artistic Director


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  • It is our distinct pleasure to launch the programme of the Göteborg International Organ Festival 2024 with its theme: Journeys. In a rich twelve-day programme, we highlight how music and people have moved across geographical and cultural borders and how the journey as a musical metaphor can help us understand life.


    The gala concert's new work by Carl Unander Scharin, The Isagel Suite, allows us to follow the female pilot from Swedish author Harry Martinson's Aniara (1956) on humanity's journey and escape from planet Earth to a distant star system. In Erland Hildén's organ fairy tale The Seal and the Seal Turtle, accompanied by Joachim Odelberg's underwater images, we travel into the underwater world and encounter the consequences and challenges of climate change in both saga and reality. In a European symposium organised in collaboration with the association of European Cities of Historical Organs (ECHO), we address the challenges surrounding climate change and cultural heritage, focusing on corrosion in organ pipes. Is our cultural memory disintegrating and disappearing? With Mikael Carlsson´s Requiem we mourn the many lives lost during refugee journeys.


    In a European marathon concert, we will hear 32 organists from the 17 European organ cities in ECHO take us on a musical journey through time and space, exploring European organ culture, which has built symbolic bridges across borders and boundaries, and which embodies the European vision. We make a special effort to feature young female organists who travel from all over Europe to the festival to perform, and engage with the festival programme and network.


    In afternoon seminars, we will follow how the English musician and writer Charles Burney travelled the continent in the 18th century to document European musical life, and how, 100 years later, towards the end of the 19th century, organs and organists travelled to World Exhibitions in both Europe and North America.


    The Göteborg Youth Organ Festival is growing and developing, and this year it gathers children and young people for two organ camps, one in Lidköping and one in Gothenburg. The Gothenburg Diocese presents three winners in a national competition for organ stories, and at the city library, there will be organ-building workshops and several organ fairy tales and films throughout the festival week. The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra invites school classes and families to the concert hall to experience an organ and orchestra performance titled The Monster Doesn't Breathe.


    We join the European Hansa Ensemble and Manfred Cordes on the musical journey ‘Northbound’, travelling through northern Europe in the first half of the 17th century, exploring vocal and instrumental music from several Hansa cities. With Göteborg Baroque and Magnus Kjellson, we make an invigorating stop in Padua, Italy, around 1640 to acquaint ourselves with the unknown vocal and instrumental music by Simone Vesi, made available in a new edition by Kerala J. Snyder, and presented for the first time at the festival. In 1624, three important keyboard and organ collections were published in Europe by the composers Girolamo Frescobaldi, Samuel Scheidt, and Johann Ulrich Steigleder. In concerts and seminars, we explore the crossroads of these composers, the context, musical language, meaning, emblematic and function of these and other 17th and 18th-century keyboard collections.


    New music for meantone organ by Linnea Talp and, in collaboration with Gageego!, a new commissioned work by Klaus Lang for organ and chamber ensemble will be premiered.


    We celebrate the 350th anniversary of the German organist and composer Matthias Weckman with various concerts featuring organ, keyboard, chamber, vocal, and instrumental music. We also celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Göteborg International Organ Festival and the exciting journey of our festival that has helped create a unique collection of high-quality organs of diverse styles, making our city a well-known meeting place for organ art in the 21st century. We are very pleased that Harald Vogel, who played an important role in this development for more than three decades, returns to the festival and will take us on a fascinating journey through the sounds of the unique North German Baroque organ in Örgryte New Church and the Hamburg music and organ culture of the 17th century. Finally, we celebrate the Norwegian composer, organist and church musician, Egil Hovland, who has had a major impact on Swedish church music, and who would have been 100 years old on October 18, 2024.


    Enjoy the soundscapes of the North German Baroque Organ in Örgryte New Church, the new world-class Concert Hall organ, and the broad collection of organs in Gothenburg that enable us to travel in time through sounds, technology, culture, and societal development of centuries of European organ culture. Let a multitude of voices and soundscapes in organ, vocal, and instrumental music from the Renaissance to the experimental music of our time entice you on an inspirational musical journey.


    We extend a warm welcome to Göteborg and the Göteborg International Organ Festival 2024, to a world of passion and tactile sounds for all! For a future of peace and a sustainable society, and for the right of all human beings to raise their voices. 



    Hans Davidsson


    Göteborg International Organ Academy & Festival


    Ulrike Heider


    Göteborg International Organ Festival



    The Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg, Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF), European Hansa Ensemble, Gageego!, GAS – Göteborg Art Sounds Festival, Göteborg Baroque, Göteborg Chamber Music Society, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Jonsered Manor (University of Gothenburg), Rieger Orgelbau, Sensus, the Church of Sweden, the Göteborg Diocese, the parishes in Gothenburg: the Cathedral, Haga, Härlanda, Vasa, Västra Frölunda, Örgryte, and St. Jakob’s Church and Bethlehem’s Church (the Equmenia Church in Gothenburg), and the parishes in West Sweden: Alingsås, Lidköping, Mariestad, Marstrand, Morlanda, Skövde, and Ulricehamn, Ljudteknikerna Sverige AB, and MLd – Magnus Lorentzson design, Ljudhavet.


    Gothenburg City Cultural Council, HIGAB, James Collier Orgelbyggeri AB, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Karl Nelson Orgelbyggeri, The Swedish Arts Council, The Cultural Committee of Region Västra Götaland (West Sweden), the Church of Sweden, the parishes of Örgryte and Gothenburg Cathedral, The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, and Wilhelm and Martina Lundgrens Understödsfond.
  • A Warm Welcome!

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    Photo: Lars Andersson/LTU 


    Sverker Jullander


    Göteborg International Organ Academy Association

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    Hans Davidsson

    Artistic Director

    Göteborg International Organ Festival & Academy

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    Ulrike Heider

    Co-artistic Director

    Göteborg International Organ Festival

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    123 256 83 68



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