The last concert this summer in the series of organ concerts in the Koepelkerk in Smilde is Thursday 25 August. The final concert is given by the well-known improviser Sietze de Vries.

    Sietze de Vries works internationally as a concert organist and church musician.

    Organ training

    He received his organ training from Wim van Beek and Jos van der Kooy, among others. He also studied improvisation with the latter teacher, as with the illustrious Jan Jongepier. During and after his studies at the conservatories of Groningen and The Hague, De Vries made a name for himself by winning no fewer than fifteen prizes during various organ competitions. A highlight was the win of the international improvisation competition in Haarlem in 2002.

    In the new millennium, Sietze de Vries’ career also took off internationally: he concerts, teaches and judges in many European countries, but also in the United States, Canada, Russia, South Africa and Australia. He is a teacher at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen and he is organist at the Martinikerk in Groningen, succeeding Wim van Beek. In his position as artistic director of the Orgel Education Center Groningen, he promotes the historic organ possessions of the province, based on the Petruskerk in Leens.

    International

    In addition to his work as a concert and teaching organist, Sietze de Vries is internationally active as an excursion leader, gives lectures and master classes, makes media productions and produces special children’s programs around the organ. His involvement in developing young talent is also apparent from the fact that he is a permanent accompanist of the well-known Koorschool Noord Nederland (Roden Girl Choristers). His articles on church music, organ building and improvisation regularly appear in various international magazines.

    In addition to compositions by Bach, Handel and Brahms, the program of August 25 will of course also include an own improvisation. The concert starts at 8 p.m.

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