Spring Meeting 2018

AGO European Chapter 2018 Spring Meeting in Belgium and the Netherlands 2nd – 7th of April

General Information

Local Coordination Team  Johan Hermans
Tel.: +32 477 720 148
E-Mail: j.h.o(at)skynet.be

Ludo Vandersmissen
Tel.: +31 6 5130 4686
E-mail: vandersmissen.ludo(at)gmail.com

Purpose of the AGO European Chapter 2018 Spring Meeting
Exploring historical or exceptional organs by demonstrations, concerts, and the possibility of trying them out
Visiting historical places or unique locations
Time for young, promising performers!
Time for all European Chapter Spring Meeting participants!

Transport during the Spring Meeting:
Tour Coach for trips during the week 
Free Car Parking at the hotel
Railway station is located near the city center.

Nearby airports :
Brussels national airport (Zaventem) Railway station in the basement
Amsterdam  high-speed train to Antwerp, then intercity train to Hasselt
Paris  high-speed train to Brussels, then intercity train to Hasselt
Cologne (170 km from Hasselt)  train connection via Liège
Düsseldorf (137 km from Hasselt)  train connection via Liège
Eindhoven (79 km from Hasselt

Preliminary Itinerary

Monday, April 2, 2017: A warm welcome
12.00 – 17.00 Participants arrive in Hasselt. City guide will be available
16.00 – 18.00 Registration at the Spring Meeting Hotel: Park Inn by Radisson
19.00 – 22.00 Opening Dinner in Salon van de Smaak. Welcome by Dean Judy Riefel-Lindel

Tuesday, April 3, 2017 A day in Dutch Limburg (The Netherlands)

8.45–10.45 Maastricht, St Servaas Basilica Maastricht1
Organ 'Binvignat' (1804), demonstration by Marcel Verheggen
Binvignat, from northern France, had his organ workshop in Maastricht in the late 18th, early 19th century. He combined the French classical tradition with elements of the Rhineland style. 

11.10 – 13.00 Maastricht, Basilica of Our Lady (Roman church): Organ of Andries Séverin (1652) demonstration by Hans Leenders
Séverin, from Maastricht, had an organ workshop in Liège since 1626. He built in Walloon 17th-century style, combining elements of French, southern Netherlands and Rhineland style. 

15.00 – 16.00 Houthem, Convent of St Gerlach: Organ of Joseph Binvignat (1784) with demonstration.     Extra: Splendid paintings on the walls and the ceiling of the church. Coffee served in the abbey.

17.00 – 18.00 Hasselt, City Hall - Speech by the council of Culture & Tourism

20.00 – 21.00 Hasselt, Sacred Heart Church: Candle light recital by Johan + 2 other participants.
Sunset through the leaded glass windows, afterwards candlelight. Splendid, original Cavaillé-Coll (1878) organ, in original condition, 18 stops, II / P
21.00 – 22.30 Try the Cavaillé-Coll organ yourself, meanwhile sipping a glass of wine . . .

Wednesday, April 4, 2017 A day in North-Brabant (the Netherlands)

10.00 – 12.00 Cuijk (NL), St Martinus Church: Organ by Séverin (1625-1650) / Verschueren (1955 & 1992), demonstration by Pieter Dirksen

den Bosch13.00 – 15.00 's Hertogenbosch, St Jan's Cathedral: Organ Floris Hocque II (1617) - Heynemann (1787) - Flentrop (1984), demonstration by Veronique van den Engh, or by participants (to be arranged)  .
Both the cathedral and the organ are world class monuments. Niehoff, the most important organ builder of the
lower countries in the 16th century, had his workshop here.

15.45 – 17.30 Eindhoven, Philips Muziek-centrum concert hall. French symphonic organ (1992) by Pels & Van Leeuwen with demonstration.helmond_st-lambertuskerk_robustelly_lg

19.40 – 21.30 Helmond, St Lambertus Church: Organ by Robustelly (1772) built in late classical French style, demonstration by Jan van de Laar (?)
Robustelly was the successor of Jean-Baptiste Le Picard in Liège The restoration by Verschueren (1975) gained international acclaim.

Thursday, April 5, 2017 A day in Liège (BE, French speaking part)

9.30 – 11.30 Visit at the workshop of Orgelbau Schumacher GmbH

12.15 – 13.45 Liège, St Barthélémy Collegiate Church (12th century): Organ in French romantic style with elements of German style by Merklin & Schütze (1852) – Schumacher (2013) with demonstration.
Merklin had workshops in Brussels and Paris in the 19th century, became a Chevalier of the  Légion d' Honneur  and built, restored or repaired over 400 organs mainly in Belgium and France.

13.55 – 14.40 Liège, city walk (distance : 1,65 km, walking time : 25') through the historic centre of Liège. Stops at Birth house César Franck and the Opéra Royal de Wallonie (cultural heritage)

14.40 – 16.10 Liège, Abbey 'Paix de la Nôtre Dame' of the Bénédictines with a splendid III/P organ in 18th century French-Walloon classical style by Le Picard (1737) with demonstration.
Le Picard had a workshop in Liège in the 18th century. This instrument is the oldest of his hand that is preserved.

16.20-18.00 Liège,Philharmonic Concert Hall (19th century, cultural heritage): Schyven Organ in French romantic-symphonic style (1888) – Thomas (2005),III / P / 55, modern combination action and contemporary, movable console on stage.

20.00 – 22.00 Liège, St Jacques Collegiate Church (cultural heritage): Organ by 'Niehoff', 1600 / Séverin 1669 / Schumacher 1997. Originally a monument-tal Renaissance instrument, III / P / 34. Internationally acclaimed reconstruction after Renaissance models with blockwerk disposition, Meantone temperament, and short octaves. Organ demonstration by Pierre Thimus Under the organ is a monument for Andries Séverin.

Friday, April 6, 2017

A day in Belgian Limburg

8.30 – 10.30 Genk, St Martinus Church

Neo-Gothic church built after the original Gothic church was destroyed by friendly fire in 1944. The new II/P, tracker organ by Guido Schumacher (2010 – 2015) is built in middle German baroque style after examples of the König family. It has 36 stops with open 16' principal in the pedal towers. The surprisingly Virga Jessecontemporary organ case forms a bridge between the 18th century style organ and the neo-Gothic architecture of the building. Demonstration by Jeroen Follon. Coffee to be served in the church.

10.50 – 12.00 Hasselt, Private auditorium of Bol & Orchestra piano store. Piano recital by Andries Voets + 4 hands with partner. Time to view the piano collection.

12.15 – 13.00 Hasselt,Virga Jesse Basilica

Church from the late Baroque, early Classicism. Interior was entirely restored in 2017. Marble altar by 17th C. sculptor Jean Del Cour, the 'Bernini from Liège. Gothic statue of the Virga Jesse.

 Lunchtime recital by participants

Organ (II/P, 23) by Clerinx (1860's), the most well-known 19th-century organ builder of  the Belgian Limburg and  Liège area. Blend of elements of Classical and Romantic organ building; patented system to use stops at 2 manuals without a manual coupler.

14.30 – 15.45  Hasselt, Virga Jesse Basilica, Organ Clerinx (1860's). Time to try the organ yourself.2-st-quintinus-7

15.45 – 18.00 St-Quintinus Cathedral

Gothic church, built between the 11th en 15th C. Organ (III/P, 34) by Niehoff (1593) / Binvignat (1793) / Schumacher. The organ of Nicolas Niehoff got partially destroyed in a fire in 1725 but a good part of the Niehoff-pipes were re-used by Binvignat.  Binvignat excellently managed to integrate the Niehoff-pipes in this 18th C. organ, blending elements of French and German style. Reconstruction of the 1793 condition in 2002. Demonstration by Johan Hermans

14.30 - 18.00  Alternative possibilities for the afternoon: - Carillon Museum, National Museum of Jenever, Fashion Museum, Chocolate Shop Boon

19.00 – 22.00 Final dinner in Sky Lounge Restaurant (view over the city)


Saturday, April 7th, 2018

Optional program

Till noon or . . . Free morning (shopping) in Hasselt

15.00-16.15 Hasselt, St-Quintinus Cathedral

Organ recital by European Chapter member Jennifer Chou, Melbourne, AUS

Admission free and open to the public

Organ Niehoff (1593) / Binvignat (1793) / Schumacher

16.15 – 17.30 Final final goodbye while enjoying a last Belgian beer.


Hotel Information and Registration

The selected hotel is the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Hasselt (Belgium)

Address:  Sint-Jozefstraat 10.2.2

 B 3500 Hasselt - Belgium

 Phone: +32 11 71 88 80

E-mail: info.hasselt(at)rezidorparkinn.com

Website: www.parkinn.com/hotel-hasselt 

Contact: Mrs. Stéphanie Raskin

Special room rates for participants of the AGO Europe 2018 Spring Meeting:

Single bedroom  1 person  € 85,00

Double bedroom  2 persons € 95,00

Twin bedroom  2 persons € 95,00

Full buffet breakfast included

TVA and service included

City Tax of € 2,50 per person per night to be added (2017 rate, might slightly differ in 2018)

Please make your hotel reservation as soon as possible.  After you have made your reservation, write and tell Johan j.h.o(at)skynet.be and Judy judith.riefel-lindel(at)outlook.com. They will then place your name on our official Participants List. The sooner you do this the better, in order to help us and the hotel in our planning.

Room Reservations and Payments

  • To be made prior to December 25th, 2017 by email or by phone referencing to the code AGO2018 which will guarantee the above mentioned rates. Always clearly mention the type of room you want.
  • After reservation, the above mentioned rates will show up on the confirmation notice.
  • To guarantee the reservation a credit card is required (AMEX, VISA, Master Card). The card number will be asked during the reservation process. The actual payment will only be made at check-out.
  • Cancellation free of costs till March 15, 2018.
  • Participants wishing to extend their stay till Sunday, April 8th, 2018, can book the additional night under the same conditions as mentioned above.
  • Luggage at departure:

For participants who want to spend Saturday, April 7th 2018 in Hasselt, the hotel will arrange a secured room to hold the luggage after check-out till leaving.

Questions ? Please contact one of the following persons:

  • Johan Hermans
  • +32 477 72 01 48
  • j.h.o(at)skynet.be
  • Ludo Vandersmissen
  • +31 6 5130 4686
  • vandersmissen.ludo(at)gmail.com
  • Hotel information can be found at the hotel website or in attached prospect catalogue.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Hasselt in April 2018 !