"It is my distinct pleasure to launch the program of the Göteborg International Organ Festival (GIOF) 2023 with its theme: Echoes. In a rich twelve-day program, we illustrate how history is still present today, and investigate where the line can be drawn between originality and imitation. A complete Genelec loudspeaker orchestra in dialogue with the monumental four-manual meantone organ in Örgryte New Church will explore echoes in acoustical sounds, sound processing, and live electronics, including a performance of “The Bell and the Blackbird.”
The programme also includes original compositions echoed through organ transcriptions, for example Prokofiev´s “Romeo and Juliet,” or the violin concertos of Johann Sebastian Bach, inspiring string-idiomatic music in concerto style by many 18th-century composers. Medieval vocal music will be interleaved with improvisations on the organetto; music for voices instruments and monumental organs from the first half of the 17th century when our city was founded; and vocal and instrumental music by Italian composer Vesi with Göteborg Baroque and its unique Claviorganum.
These musical experiences will be juxtaposed with new chamber music for organ, and the dramatic organ concerto “Earth´s Shadows” by Kaija Saariaho (1952–2023) for organ and symphony orchestra. We also offer particular echoes of the past, such as musical homages to William Byrd (1543-1623) on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death, and we will celebrate Max Reger’s 150th birthday, as well as the legacy of the trailblazing Göteborg cathedral organist and composer Elfrida André (1841-1929), among other pioneering women composers who will also be celebrated at this year’s festival.
Enjoy the soundscapes of the North German Baroque Organ in Örgryte New Church, the new world-class Concert Hall Organ, and the broad collection of organs in Göteborg that echo the sound, technology, culture and societal development of 400 years of Göteborg’s history. Let a multitude of voices and soundscapes in organ, vocal, and instrumental music from the Renaissance to experimental music of our own time inspire you.
We warmly welcome you to Göteborg and the Göteborg International Organ Festival 2023, to a world of passion and tactile sounds – for all!
For a future of peace, and for the right of all human beings to raise their voices."