Antwerpse Kathedraalconcerten vzw

The Antwerp Cathedral Concert Association

The Antwerp Cathedral Concert Association was founded in 1963. Its aim is to propagate religious music in general and pipe organ music in particular, and it seeks to arouse, develop and maintain the interest of the public in such music.

In earlier years the romantic Schyven organ had become the primary focus of attention. This organ is a masterpiece of 19th century organ building in Belgium. In 1993 a second organ was installed at Antwerp Cathedral. This second instrument is a classical organ (as opposed to the romantic Schyven organ). It was newly built by Metzler Orgelbau of Dietikon in Switserland. Antwerp Cathedral therefore now has two truly magnificent pipe organs.

Organ recitals are given on the romantic Schyven organ as well as on the classical Metzler organ. The choice of organ will depend mainly on the organist and in particular on his or her choice of repertoire. The romantic Schyven organ does not really do justice to the wonderful baroque music of Bach, Buxtehude, etc. but it is eminently suited for playing the romantic music of Widor, Franck, Messiaen, etc., i.e. music composed in symphonic French style as from the 1840s onwards. The situation is more or less the opposite with the Metzler organ, which is not altogether surprising considering the fact that the disposition of the Metzler organ has been chosen to fulfill the specific requirements related to the performance of older e.g. baroque music.

Many internationally renowned organists have played at Antwerp Cathedral over the years. The festival of Belgian organists, held in 1967, gained wide acclaim. A concert series of particular interest was the "Festival of Religious Music in Europe at the time of Rubens", held in 1977. Another noteworthy event was the inaugural concert of the Schyven organ in 1986, following major renovation work, and also the festive inauguration of the classical Metzler organ in 1993.

Major restauration work took place in the Cathedral during the 1970s, following which the Schyven organ was partly dismantled, thoroughly cleaned and retuned. The renovation work came to a close in the beginning of 1986, and to mark this memorable occasion the Cathedral organist Stanislas Deriemaeker gave a special organ recital on the 1st of February of that year. He brought the same music which was played at the occasion of the first inaugural concert of the Schyven organ in 1891; the organists at that occasion being his predecessor Joseph Callaerts, Alphonse Mailly and Charles Marie Widor.

The summer series of organ recitals at Antwerp Cathedral have gained wide popularity. An audience of 400 to 800 is quite common, and the Cathedral has been filled to capacity on quite a few occasions (close to 2000 listeners). This was the case with the series of inaugural concerts of the Metzler organ held in 1993. The latter in fact gave rise to a second series of organ recitals now also held annually. Evening recitals, on one hand, are held every Friday evening during the month of July. They start at 8.30 pm and last for a little over one hour.                                       Lunch time recitals, on the other hand, are held every Friday during the months of August and September. These recitals start at 12.45 pm and last for about 45 minutes.

The Anwerp Cathedral Concert Association also lends its support in organizing choral recitals and other concerts. These are held periodically in the Cathedral throughout the year.

The Association aims to foster a friendly relationship among the people associated with it, as well as with the public at large. Our web site was created in May 1998 and is being kept regularly updated and upgraded as time goes on. Would you care to sign our visitor's book?. We appreciate your interest in visiting our web site and we do hope to have the pleasure of your company at one or more of our organ recitals or concerts.

Members of The Antwerp Cathedral Concert Association

Stefan Verberckmoes President
Geert Huylebroeck Secretary
Peter Van de Velde Cathedral Organist and Artistic Advisor
Jacques Michielsens Treasurer
Hugo Loos Board member
   
Hugo de Ruijter Honorary President
Stanislas Deriemaeker Founder-honorary chairman and honorary organist
Luc Leytens Founder-Board member
Angele Bogers  
Christian Devos  
Thierry de Marneffe  
Jan Noordzij  
Georges Snijders Members
   
Paul Leysen Founder-Honorary member
Georges De Witte Honorary member
Hubert Sturtewagen Honorary chairman