Prof. Gerhard Gnann and Prof. Jürgen Essl in Ochsenhausen, Rot an der Rot, Weingarten und Weißenau
From 5th .to 8th August for the seventh time, organized by www.ORGANpromotion.org, the „South German Organ Academy“ took place.
The organ landscape of Upper Swabia clearly has a great power of attraction, since the „Upper Swabian Organ Academy drew 20 international participants from France, England, Russia, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. For the first time this year in co-operation with the International Summer Academy of Music and the State Academy Ochsenhausen we were led by lecturers Prof. Jürgen Essl from the College of Music Stuttgart and Prof. Gerhard Gnann from the College of Music Mainz.
Both lecturers played in the opening day in the church Zeil Castle, where the oldest extant original organ in South Germany is located (circa 1600). They offered a recital including south German and Italian pieces, mainly from the 17th Century. The two lecturers engaged by ORGANpromotion proved to be experienced organ teachers, who were able to orient themselves to the level of the participants, which ranged from beginner to concert organist. They gave the learners hints on adapting their registration and style of playing to the emotional content of the piece, how to enliven their playing, and instruction on playing in general.
Teaching was done on the Gabler organ in Ochsenhausen and on the two Holzhey organs in Rot a.d. Rot and Weißenau. There were also viewings of the historic organs in Weingarten and Wolfegg (in mediant pitch).
Included in the course was the 1st International Joseph Gabler Organ Competition, in which six young organists took part.
(Dirk Brödling, D-32760 Detmold)