Jacques van Oortmerssen (Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 1950) studied at the Conservatory of Rotterdam, where he completed his soloist diplomas for both the organ, as a student of André Verwoerd, and for piano as a student of Elly Salomé. Thereafter he undertook postgraduate study with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris (France). He was awarded the Prix d’ Excellence in 1976.
In 1977 he won first prize in the National Improvisation Competition in Bolsward (NL) and was runner-up in the Tournemire Prize in St Albans (England). He has been professor of organ at the Conservatory of Amsterdam (NL) since 1979, where his organ class attracts students from many countries.
In 1982 he succeeded Gustav Leonhardt as Organiste Titulaire of the Waalse kerk in Amsterdam, where he plays the famous 1734 Christian Müller organ. Jacques van Oortmerssen enjoys an international reputation as both soloist and pedagogue, in which context he is regularly invited to teach at Universities and Conservatories throughout the world.
He has been leader of the Falun Organ Academy in Falun (Sweden) for many years since 1984, was Betts Fellow in Organ Studies at the University of Oxford (England) during the 1993-1994 academic year and Associate Professor at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (Finland) during the 1994-1995 academic year. He will receive an honorary doctorate at this academy in June 2012.
Jacques van Oortmerssen was a regular guest professor of organ at the Lyon Conservatory (France) between 1999 and 2004, and he has also been a guest professor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (England) and during many years at the Conservatory in Göteborg (Sweden). In addition he has been a member of the advisory board of the Göteborg Organ Art Centre (GOArt) at the University of Gothenburg.
As soloist Jacques van Oortmerssen regularly performs throughout Europe, North and South America, Africa, Japan, China and South Korea and is frequently invited at prestigious international festivals sucu as the BBC Proms in London (England), the Prague (Czech Republic) Spring Festival, the Bach Festival in Leipzig (Germany) and the City of London Festival. He is well known for his interpretations of early music and in particular of music of J.S. Bach.
Jacques van Oortmerssen is also active as a composer and conductor.
As a recording artist, van Oortmerssen has featured on more than 50 CD releases for prominent international labels, as well as broadcasting on both radio and television.
Among the recordings he made are the complete works of C.P.E. Bach and Johannes Brahms as well as a series of records of J.S. Bach’s organ music, already having released nine volumes.
Jacques van Oortmerssen has been actively involved with the art of organ building in the broadest sense since 1970. Through his international career he intensively used and examined many organs, both historical and new, all over the world. As an organ expert he guides both restorations of historical instruments and constructions of new instruments.
Jacques van Oortmerssen is one of the inspirators of the Göteborg Organ Art Centre (GOArt) at the University of Gothenburg. This centre is committed to improve the quality of the art of organ building, both in restoring historic instruments and building new instruments, having built up a huge international reputation in doing so. Therefore interdisciplinary research is being conducted here in which musical instrument builders, musicians, organologists, technologists and musicologists cooperate on an international level. Thus the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg carries out important research on different aspects of historical organ building in the field of metallurgy, thermo-dynamics and acoustics.
As a result of these efforts two large projects have been realized, of which the North German Organ Research Project particularly caused an international stir.
Jacques van Oortmerssen believes the current profile of ‘omniscient advisor’ to now be obsolete. The complexity of restoring organs and the diversity of the historic patrimony demand a different approach in which the organ advisor will increasingly develop into a leader of a team of specialists.
Current and former positions:
Organiste Titulaire Wallonian Church Amsterdam
Professor of organ Conservatory of Amsterdam
Guest teacher University of Gothenburg
Regular guest teacher Lyon Conservatory
Regular guest teacher Royal Northern College of Music Manchester
Leader Falun Organ Academy
Member of the advisory board of the Göteborg Organ Art Centre (GOArt) at the University of Gothenburg
Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxemburg, Mexico, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Swiss, United States of America.
|VISTA VRS 1984
||Grote of St.Laurenskerk, Rotterdam|
|VISTA VRS 1852||Waalse kerk, Amsterdam|
|VISTA VRS 1909||St Sernin, Toulouse|
||Municipal museum, The Hague (NL)|
||Oude Kerk, Amsterdam|
||Compilation Dom church, Utrecht,NL|
||Bovenkerk, Kampen (NL)|
|INTERSOUND 6818.691||Lambertus kerk, Wouw (NL)|
||Grote kerk, Schiedam (NL; Sweelinck)|
||Immanuel church, Ermelo (NL)|
||Triomfator church, Barendrecht (NL)|
|DENON 33C37-7376||Grote kerk, Schiedam|
||Waalse kerk, Amsterdam (Bach)|
||St Cosmae, Stade (Germany)|
|TECHNOSONIC PSCD25||Municipal musuem, Den Haag|
||St Lambertus kerk, Helmond (NL)|
|BIS 418||Grote kerk, Harderwijk (NL; Mozart)|
||Kristinekyrka, Falun (Brahms)|
||Grote kerk, Harderwijk (C.P.E. Bach)|
||A Journey Around C.P.E.Bach|
|IMPOGRAM 95045||Organ Works|
|VANGUARD CLASSICS 99101||J.S. Bach Organ Works vol. I|
|VANGUARD CLASSICS 99102||J.S. Bach Organ Works vol. II|
|VANGUARD CLASSICS 99103||J.S. Bach Organ Works vol. III|
|VANGUARD CLASSICS 99104||J.S. Bach Organ Works vol. IV|
|VANGUARD CLASSICS 99105||J.S. Bach Organ Works vol. V|
|CHALLENGE CLASSICS 99106||J.S. Bach Organ Works vol. VI|
|CHALLENGE CLASSICS 99107||J.S. Bach Organ Works vol. VII|
|CHALLENGE CLASSICS 99108||J.S. Bach Organ Works vol. VIII|
|CHALLENGE CLASSICS 99109
||J.S. Bach Organ Works vol. IX|
|CHALLENGE CLASSICS 99||Live at St Bavo, Haarlem (NL)|
|VANGUARD CLASSICS 99060
||French Romantic Masterpieces|
Rondeau Reconstruction (Donemus 1975), organ
Fata Morgana (Boeijenga 1991), organ
Five chorale preludes (Tactus 1995), organ
Guide to duo and trio playing (Boeijenga 1981)
Organ Technique (GOArt, 2002)
Several articles on musicological subjects.
|Belgium||Royal Conservatory, Antwerpen
|Lemmens Instituut, Leuven|
|Brazil||Conservatory of Sao Paulo|
|Convention Royal Canadian College of Organists - University of Toronto
|Finland||Sibelius Academy, Helsinki|
|Lahti international organ festival|
|Sibelius academy, Kopio|
|Germany||Music College Hamburg|
|Music College Lübeck
|Music College Mainz|
|International organ festival Bottrop
|Music College Köln|
|Music College Leipzig|
|Hungary||Liszt Academy, Budapest|
|Liszt Academy, Kecskemet|
|Italy||Organ Academy Pistoia|
|Smarano Organ Academy|
|Tokyo Meiji Gakuin University|
|Netherlands||International Bach festival Dordrecht
|International Organ Festival Alkmaar
|International Organ Festival Haarlem
|Norway||Conservatory of Oslo|
|Conservatory of Bergen|
|Conservator of Stavanger
|Conservatory of Trondheim|
|Russia||Conservatory St Petersburg|
|Gnessins Academy Moscow|
|University of South Africa|
|South Korea||Yonsai University Seoul|
|Spain||Organ Academy Fray Joseph de Echevarria, Palencia|
|Sweden||University of Stockholm|
|University of Gothenburg|
|University of Piteå|
|International Summer Academy Falun|
|University of Malmö|
|Swiss||Schola Cantorum Basel|
|United Kingdom||John Loosemore Centre|
|Royal Academy of Music, London|
|University of Edinburgh|
|Oundle International Organ Week|
|Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester|
|St Giles Organ School, London|
|Royal College of Organists, London|
|Eastman School of Music
Member of the jury at:
Grand Prix de Chartres (France)
International Schnitger organ competition, Alkmaar (NL)
Dublin (Ireland) International Organ Competition
Odense (Denmark) International Organ Competition
South Africa National Organ Competition
Schramberg (Germany) International Organ Competition Kotka (Finland) International Organ Competition
RCO Competition Canada
Herford (England) International Organ Competition
Erfurt (Germany) International Organ Competition
International Organ Competition Wiesbaden (Germany)
International Organ Competition Mainz (Germany)
Schnitger International Organ Competition Musikfest Bremen (Germany)
Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y., USA), Yokota
Meiji Gakuin University (Tokyo, Japan), Van Eeken
Open Hof church Rotterdam (NL), Vierdag
Triomphator church Barendrecht (NL), Verschueren
Reformed church Smitshoek (NL), Verschueren
Bethel reformed church, Hendrik Ido Ambacht (NL), Vierdag
Design and guidance 10 home organs, Verschueren
Restoration organ Wallonian church Amsterdam (NL), Van Eeken/Flentrop
Restoration organ cabinet Wallonian church Amsterdam (NL), Van Eeken
Conservatory Tarragona (Spain)
Conservatory Trondheim (Norway)
Sibelius Academy, Helsinki (Finland), Verschueren
Restoration cabinet organ municipal museum The Hague (NL), Verschueren
Translocation Willis organ, Gothenburg (Sweden)
Translocation and restoration Hill organ, Falun (Sweden)
Architect GOArt (Göteborg Organ Art Centre) organs, Yokota/Verschueren
Research quality organ restorations Flanders, Vogel; commissioned by the interior minister of Flanders.
International Contius project, coordinator of the artistic commission: Elshout (Flentrop), Davidsson, Yokota, Vogel, Van der Linde; commissioned by the Contius foundation.