International Organ Festival Haarlem 16 - 30 July 2016

The history of the festival

The International Organ Festival Haarlem (the Netherlands) takes place from 16-30 July 2016 and will be the 51st edition since its foundation in 1951. It is therefore one of the longest established organ festivals in the world. The programme of the Haarlem Festival will be a true celebration of all that is to be enjoyed in organ improvisation and five centuries of organ music. With new works and opportunities for young (and very young) talents this renowned festival continues to break new ground.

One of the most famous organs in the world and some of the most famous organists to play it. That's the formula of the Haarlem International Organ Festival. It all began in 1951 with an improvisation competition, and this contest in recital improvisation - mostly on themes specially commissioned from contemporary composers - has continued ever since. The Haarlem Organ Festival quickly became a paradise for organists worldwide, a position it has retained till this day.

The International Improvisation Competition and the Summer Academy for organists are the pillars of the biennial Haarlem Organ Festival, which focuses on the 18th-century Christian Müller organ in the Gothic edifice of St Bavo's and the 19th-century Cavaillé-Coll organ in the Philharmonie concert hall.

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