Information Letter

for Students of the Haarlem Summer Academy 2018

Welcome to Europe’s main Organ City! We are very pleased you will attend the Haarlem Organ Festival – some of you for the fifth or sixth time! Please read the information below carefully. Click here for a printable PDF.

After arrival in Haarlem

In case you arrive on Sunday 15 July, you can meet us in the Festival Office. The Festival office is situated in the Blauwe Zaal of the Philharmonie (Lange Begijnestraat 11, Haarlem). The Blauwe Zaal is the large room just at the right after entering the building. It will be open on Sunday 15 July from 10.00 AM till 5 PM. In case you arrive later please register on Monday morning 16 July. The Festival Office will be open this day at 7:30 AM. Students who will attend classes in the second week only can register on Monday 23 July from 7:30 AM. On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July the Festival Office is closed.

You will receive your Summer Academy folder with a Programme book, an information letter, a name badge and the updated schedule(s) including the locations of your masterclass(es). The schedules which you found on the website are provisional and without the locations. During the Festival only the updated schedules should be used.
The name badge is very important. You will need it to get free access to your booked courses and to all Festival concerts, lectures and other events. Do not forget to wear it visibly during the entire festival. 
NB If you use a pacemaker, be sure that the magnet of the badge is not too close to this device! 

Important information about the Festival Office

The Festival Office is open daily from 08.00 (Tuesday-Friday) or 07.30 (both Mondays) till 17.30 hours. On Sunday 22 July we are on excursion to Groningen and the Festival Office is closed all day. Also on Saturday 21 July the Office will be closed, and the building will be opened only for masterclasses.

On the opening days, till 13.15 hours Peter Ouwerkerk, Sylvia de Vlaming and/or Titia Daniels are present to give you all information you need: about the Festival, but also where (not) to eat, shop, make copies, how to travel, if you need a doctor, dentist, taxi, plane, police, etc etc. Do not hesitate to ask! Please save non-urgent questions for quiet moments. And note that organ or music related questions can only be addressed to Peter, who is a professional organist himself. After 13.15 hours the room will be open but only a volunteer will be present to answer only non-festival related questions.

There will be internet access in the Festival Office: please choose ‘PHpubliek’ (without password, so it is limited secured).

The festival office is also a place to have a break with coffee / tea / soup and to meet other students. After closure of the Office at 13.15 hours you nevertheless can enter and drink a cup of coffee, tea or soup. Do not forget to pay for this! Although it costs only 
€ 0,50, some students always ‘forget’. 

The office is no place to store your suitcases; unattended bags and suitcases will be removed. Only if you cannot leave them in your B&B, you can store them for a couple of hours maximum at your own risk in the hall below the organ in St Bavo’s. The church is closing at 17.00 hours, so be sure you pick up your belongings from there in time. Only for real emergency reasons (for instance you need medicines which are in your suitcase, or your plane is waiting for you), you can call Peter who will try to get your suitcase out of St Bavo's church. 

The Blauwe Zaal will be closed immediately after the Public Lecture, so at 19.00 hours. After 19.00 hours there is no possibilityto enter the building anymore; you will have to wait till the next morning – or the next Monday.


The Festival 24/7 cell phone number for urgent calls is 0031 6 2842 65 40. If Peter is not responding immediately, you will be connected to the voicemail. Please leave (or text) your name and message and he will call you back. 
In case there are any problems with your guesthouse try to solve them with your host(ess). Only in case this is not successful you can call Maaike, 0031 6 4975 28 67. If you decide to leave your B&B without good reason, no refund will be made.

The Summer Academy Rules

  • You are expected to attend all lessons of the courses you have subscribed for. In case you are absent in a lesson without valid reason your place will lapse immediately without refund. You will not receive an Academy certificate.
  • These personalized certificates will be handed out to all students from Thursday morning in the Festival Office. You are asked to show them by yourself to the professors for their signatures. If they are convinced you indeed followed all lessons, they will sign the certificate.
  • Be prepared that the more students are in your course the more efficient the teacher has to deal with playing time. In all cases only the teacher decides about who will play, but of course it is the ambition to let all students play for at least one time. We hope you will understand that playing all the pieces you prepared cannot be guaranteed, especially in courses with a lot of students. 
  • Complaints about the courses should be addressed to Peter and neverbe discussed before, during or after the lessons.
  • All Academy lessons should be interesting for the whole group and not for whom is playing only. If you are not sufficiently prepared the teacher has the right to shorten your playing time or even declare you as passive student.
  • Some lessons of the courses ‘Improvisation’ will be taught by both Improvisation teachers, Vincent Thévenaz and Franz Danksagmüller. Although you enrolled for a specific professor, you are free (and encouraged)  to visit one lesson by the other improvisation teacher too. Both lessons are on the same time and will not conflict with other classes you possibly subscribed for. It could be very inspiring!
  • It is not allowed to make audio or video recordings during the lessons without permission of the organization, the professor and the student who is playing. If the filming is very disturbing for teaching, the professor may ask to stop it at once. Be very critical and selective in what you publish on YouTube or any other social media, and always ask the organization for permission. Do not disturb the lessons by making audible remarks or making any other unnecessary sounds. 
  • The official entrance of St Bavo’s church near the statue on the Grote Markt (No. 1 on the city map in your Programme book) will be open from 10.00 till 17.00 hours. You can enter the church upon showing your badge. Without badge, you need to pay € 2,50 for an entrance ticket. To get into the church for each day’s first lesson (8.30 hours) please go to the small entrance at the opposite of the church: Oude Groenmarkt 22. Be in time: the group will be there waiting for Peter or his assistant with the key of the church. Please ring at the door in case nobody is waiting outside.
  • Each day a prayer service takes place in St Bavo’s from 12.40 till 13.15 hours. If you are on the organ loft, please do not disturb this service by playing on the organ. 

Time for practising: reservations in the Festival office

As 120 active students want to practice each student can have a maximum of 2 hours per week for practicing on some church- and several private organs in and around Haarlem. Practicing in St Bavo’s is not possible, and the Cavaillé-Coll organ in the Philharmonie is available for a limited time only. Reservations will be made per week by filling in a list: 

  • from Monday 16 July, 7.45 hours you can make reservations for the first Academy week;
  • from Monday 23 July, 7.45 hours you can make reservations for the second week. 

The first in line gets the first choice. If you reserve more than 2 hours without permission, your practice time will be erased. From Tuesday on you may reserve extra hours.

A very important rule!

In some cases you will get the key(s) of the practice church from the Festival Office. After your practice time, these keys shouldalwaysbe handed over to the next player, or (if no one shows up) you have to bring them back to the Festival Office. Never keep them in your possession, not even when you are late for your next class.If you do not bring them back, you will be excluded permanently for more practice possibilities. Concerning returning or handing over the church keys we have to be verystrict!

Extra lessons

In most courses it is possible to follow extra lessons as a listener in a course you did not apply for. You need to make reservations in the festival office. Teachers are not in charge of giving permission to follow their lessons; you will get access with a valid ticket only, which can be purchased for € 20 at the festival office.

Presentation recitals

During the fourth lessons of each course the professor will decide who will play in one of the presentation recitals which take place on Friday 27 July 20.15 hours in St Bavo’s church and on Saturday 28 July 15.00 hours in the Cathedral. 
You are also invited to play a lunch recital in ‘De Gang’, next to the Doopsgezinde Kerk. They are on both Fridays 20 and 27 July between 13.00 and 13.30 hours. Please inform Peter in case you would like to play one of these informal concerts. The repertoire is free of choice; you may play pieces from your course and/or improvisations. 

Two excursions

  • On Sunday 22 July an excursion will take place to different organs in the province and city Groningen. The exact departure time of the coach, which will be around 7:30 AM, will be communicated clearly in the Festival Office. If you did not subscribe but want to join, please ask Peter during the Festival. The coach is fully booked already, but due to a cancellation perhaps a seat will fall free. The maximum number of participants in the excursion is 85. 
  • On Wednesday 25 July we will go by bus to Alkmaar for the exiting recital by Roman Summereder and Menno van Delft. During the Festival you can buy a ticket for this second Festival excursion. The costs for travelling by coach including the entrance to the Concert are € 12, to be payed in cash during Festival Office hours. A maximum of 85 students can travel by bus, others can go by train at their own expenses. The bus will leave immediately after the Public Lecture of Wednesday 27 July at 19.10 hours sharp! 

To get to the bus, just walk from St Bavo’s church via Damstraat to the river Spaarne. See the map in your program book.


During the festival there will be a stand with sheet music and CD’s in the Festival Office. CD’s will also be bought by several professors and in the Church Shop at the entrance of the church. If you want to buy one of the few remaining copies of the Haarlem Festival Jubilee book ‘The Haarlem Essays’ (2014), please ask Peter at the Festival Office.

If you have some time left and wishes to do something nice:

  • a visit to the Zandvoort Beach (15 minutes by train from Haarlem, or 30 mins by bike)
  • visit Sweelinck’s ‘Oude Kerk’ in Amsterdam
  • don’t miss the famous Frans Hals museum in Haarlem...

Enjoy your stay in Haarlem! 

Peter Ouwerkerk (general manager)
Titia Daniels (production assistant, only the first days of the Festival)
Sylvia de Vlaming (production assistant)
Maaike Wijbrandi (B&B/guesthouses