Postponement details

Summer Academy and Improvisation Competition

On Saturday April 18 general manager Peter Ouwerkerk announced in a video message that, due to the corona crisis, the Haarlem Organ Festival will not take place in 2020. 

Participants in the Improvisation Competition and the Summer Academy come from all over the world: from South Korea, China, Australia, South Africa, Europe, the United States, Canada and South America. The corona virus is unlikely to be under control in all those places by July. It is therefore ruled out that a festival can be organized in July without taking serious health risks.

Canceled, or…?

A few weeks before this decision the organization contacted all Summer Academy professors and jury members and asked them about their availability in case the Festival would be postponed by one year. 
The reactions were heartwarming: without exception everyone fully understands the deferment and everyone keeps the agenda free to teach at the Haarlem Summer Academy in July 2021!

Therefore the festival will not be canceled but will now take place from Saturday July 17 until Saturday July 31, 2021. The Summer Academy will start on Monday July 19, 2021. The program of the Summer Academy will be unchanged.

Consequences: Summer Academy

This postponement obviously has consequences for the nearly seventy Summer Academy students who have already registered and paid their course fees. 
What will happen to your registration?

We give all students a choice between three options. 

First option: retain 2020 subscription untill 2021

The first option is that registration for the courses you enrolled in remains valid until 2021. This option gives you certainty about your participation in 2021. The same will apply for the selected Young Talents and students of the Excellence Class. If you have also registered for B&B accommodation, this arrangement will continue to apply for the same academy week or weeks in 2021.

Second option: voucher

If, for any reason, participation is not possible in July 2021, you can receive a voucher for the number of courses registered. This voucher can be redeemed in July 2022, when the first Summer Academy after the 2021 edition will take place.
Price increases will not be passed on and anyone with a voucher will have priority when registering for and choosing courses. The voucher is not personal. So it can be transferred to someone else, as long as this student meet the Academy requirements. If you in 2022 decide not to use the voucher, your paid course fee will still be refunded.

Third option: reimbursement

If participation is not possible in both 2021 and 2022, the already paid course fees will be refunded immediately. Hopefully we will meet at a future Organ Festival in Haarlem.

This crisis of course has major financial consequences for the Organ Festival. If you decide to donate part of the refunded course fees, for example the registration fee, as a gift, that would be very much appreciated. It helps us to survive in this difficult time.

Let us know!

All registered Summer Academy students are requested to inform us of their choice by sending an email to If option 3 is chosen, please provide your bank account details and don't forget to let us know if you will be donating part of the fee.

Registration for courses is temporarily not possible, because we need some time to technically prepare the website. Due to possible cancellations, places will become available in the currently fully booked courses. Keep an eye on the website; when a course spot becomes available, it is possible to register for it. We will  reopen the regular registration of the Summer Academy 2021 as soon as possible. This will be announced in the Newsletter.

Improvisation competition

The improvisation competition has also been postponed and will take place on Wednesday 21, Friday 23 and Saturday 24 July 2021
Those who have sent a recording for participation in the Improvisation Competition are notified about admittance. After all have been contacted, the participants of the Improvisation Competition will be announced on this website. These admitted participants retain their rights of participation in 2021.

2021: 70 years Organ Festival

We understand and share the great disappointment of those who were very much looking forward to their stay in Haarlem, listening to and playing the most beautiful organs in the world and, for many of you, meeting each other again. However, as has been stated before we cannot afford to take the health risks when so many people from all over the world come together in Haarlem in the current circumstances.
But... the festival will be even more festive in 2021! Especially because in that year we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Organ Festival, which was established in 1951. Because of this celebration a series of CDs will be released with valuable historic and memorable recordings of the 70-year archives of the Festival. Any student who decides to keep the subscription for the Summer Academy, or decides to cancel the registration but at least donates the registration fee, will receive a CD! These CDs are not for sale, so they will become valuable collectibles.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send us an email: We will be happy to answer!