Group tour – Autumn 2024

Date: Monday 21 October to Saturday October 26


Without question, The Netherlands is an ‘organ country’, as nowhere in the world can so many historically important instruments be found within such a small area, a sonic document that reaches forward to us from the 15th century. And we invite you to find out why they have so much left!

As will you, we found organs large and small, Protestant and Catholic, sacred and secular, in big cities and little villages. Each possesses its own unique personality, as you will realize while listening, peering inside, and (if you are brave) playing.

Some of you may already know of the magnificent 1725 Frans Caspar Schnitger organ at Alkmaar through recordings by Helmut Walcha, or the mighty 1738 Müller organ at the Bavokerk in Haarlem, featured in a memorable all-Mozart album by E. Power Biggs (also quickly learning that this Haarlem…the original…is not on the northeast hip of Manhattan Island!). Those two monuments, plus several other organs, make up a list that will carry us literally from A to Z (from Alkmaar to Zutphen), and many places in between. Historic organs, but also some new instruments in Kampen and Zutpen, together with a visit to an organ workshop. They testify to the high level of contemporary Dutch organ building.

Dutch Organ Tours is unique, offering an intense and rewarding itinerary with full-day schedules. Yes, we’ll see our share of windmills and canals, as traverse a broad swath of Dutch countryside. But if you require a full day for art museums and another for shopping, please arrange to stay on a little longer.

And pack your comfortable shoes…our coaches, while agile, cannot always bring you to the church door, and a degree of occasionally strenuous walking is inevitable. Whether you enjoy Andriessen or Sweelinck, your tastes will be met and your destinations achieved. I invite you to join us for a remarkable adventure, truly a Dutch musical treat!


Monday October 21: 

In the afternoon start of this week on Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. Travel to Utrecht and visit to the Bätz-organ, build in 1831 (with older pipes), of the Dom Church. After Utrecht travel to the first hotel in Apeldoorn. After Check-In we enjoy a three course dinner.

Tuesday October 22: 

The first organ today is the Bader/Timpe organ (1643/1810) of the Walburg Church of Zutphen. Then travel to Kampen for a vist to the Boven Church. Here we find the large Hinsz organ from 1743 and an organ from the Reil brothers of Heerde, build in 1999. After Kampen we pay them a visit in their workshop in Heerde, return to our hotel for a dinner.

Wednesday October 23:

Today we go to the west part of the country via Zaltbommel. In the Maartens Church we visit the  Wolferts/Heyneman organ from 1786/1794. The next stop is the Great Church of Dordrecht. Here we find a large organ from Kam, build in an older case in 1859 and an remarkable new organ from Verschueren in the style of Silbermann. We end in our second hotel in Leiden and enjoy a dinner.

Thursday October 24:

First going to Leiden first for a visit to the Pieters Church where the Pilgrimfathers worshipped. The organ is built in 1643 by van Hagerbeer and is the largest Dutch City organ in mean tone temperament. Next is the Hooglandse Church with an 17th cenrury organ from de Swart and, recently placed, an English organ from Willis. The third church is the Lutheran Church of The Hague with his iconic Bätz organ from 1762. We end the day in the hotel for a dinner.

Friday October 25:

Today two of the most famous organs of The Netherlands: The Muller organ of the St. Bavo Church of Haarlem with his stunning case and in the afternoon the Lauren Church of Alkmaar. The Hagerbeer/Schnitger organ from 1648/1721 is one of the best baroque organs of the world and the small organ from 1511/1525 is the oldest playable instrument in the country. The day will closed with a farewell dinner in the hotel.

Saturday October 26:

Before we end this week we hear a final romantic recital in the St. Agatha Church of Lisse with a 1914 Adema organ. 

Practical information

The organists this week are proffesional musicians, mostly the titular organists from the organs. An organ historian gives expert explanation. In this week there is a limited opportunity for group members to play yourself.

This tour is included hotel accomodation in two 4* hotels: Van der Valk Apeldoorn and Van der Valk Sassenheim/Leiden. Breakfasts, five dinners, all the church and organ visits including recitals etc. Of course all the transport is included from and to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport or another point of arrival. Arrangement for this will be made individually if necassary.

Price pro person a double occupancy € 1745,00. Single occupancy (in a double room) supplement € 245,00 The minimum number of participants is 12, the maximum is 16.

* Please note, this is a preliminary program. As soon the full program is made, it will be published here

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The Müller organ from 1738 Bavokerk, Haarlem