International Symposium at the Orgelpark: 'Glorious and Shocking Sounds – Developing the 'New Baroque Organ

Musicians, artists, and scholars from all over the world will meet on June 8-10 in Amsterdam in the Orgelpark for the International Orgelpark Symposium 2017. The main subject of the symposium is the development of so-called 'Hyper Organs', and a special topic is the hyper-organ – the New Baroque Organ – that is currently being built at the Orgelpark.

05/26/2017 | 10:36 AM

Artistic and epistemic subjects are intertwined, for example in assessing the 'interface' of the digital technology, which the New Baroque Organ will be equipped with. The digital technology allows artists – not just musicians , not just organists – to combine the sounds of the over 2,400 pipes in completely new ways. At the same time, the organ will be playable in 18th-century styles as well, because it will provide the look, feel, and sound of an organ that an organist like Johann Sebastian Bach would have experienced in his day. The symposium includes a rich offering of music, both during the presentations and in the evening concerts.

The title 'Glorious and Shocking Sounds' is a quotation from John Cage. When Cage visited Olivier Messiaen and 'his' organ at Sainte-Trinité in Paris, he was not particularly impressed by Messiaen's music; the organ, however, with its 'glorious and shocking sounds' interested him deeply. The New Baroque Organ will sound 'glorious', too, when it is played as 'just another' baroque organ, whereas the sounds enabled by the integrated digital technology will most probably shock both audiences and artists.

Free admission. Concerts: € 15,00. More information at

The symposium is organized by the Orgelpark (Orgelpark Research Program) and the Chair of Organ Studies at VU University. More information at:

Link to the Programme