On Wednesday 17th May 2023 we welcome Gerben Budding from the Netherlands to the Cathedral at our next recital of the 2023 summer season. In this edition of ‘Notes from an Organist’ we discover more about him and the recital, including playing music to remember those affected by COVID-19, what makes good liturgical music, and playing as part of an ensemble.

Could you introduce yourself, how you got into music / become an organist and your musical journey to where you are today?
My name is Gerben Budding, organist of Saint-Johns Cathedral Gouda (The Netherlands) with his historic Moreau-organ from 1736 and organist of the city Gouda in the Netherlands. I am also one of the assistant-organists at Domkerk Utrecht and cantor of the choir of the Theological University Apeldoorn.

I am in demand as a recitalist both as a soloist and as part of several ensembles, a.o. a soprano-organ duo with soprano Nanette Mans. I am the conductor of three oratorio choirs, vocal ensemble ‘Piacevole’, the choir of St. Jan Gouda and symphony orchestra Sjosjanim.

I studied organ, improvisation, church music and choral conducting at the Utrecht Conservatory with Reitze Smits, Mark Lippe, Arnoud Heerings and Rob Vermeulen. My second subjects were piano (with Henk Ekkel and Leon Bak) and harpsichord (with Siebe Henstra).

In 2009 and 2011 I graduated summa cum laude for my Bachelor and Master degree organ (with improvisation), church music and choral conducting. I got interpretation lessons organ and improvisation from Louis Robillard, Martin Haselböck, Thierry Escaich and Prof. Rudolf Lutz and studied Orchestra conducting at the Kurt Thomas Course.

In 2013 I won first prize at the international organ competition ‘Agati-Tronci’ in Pistoia (Italy) and second prize at the international Schnitger competition in Alkmaar (The Netherlands).

What can people expect from your recital at Bradford Cathedral?
A varied programme with music from Dutch composers (Sweelinck, Nieland and Manneke) and two famous German composers (Bach and Reger). The works by Nieland (19th century) and Manneke (21th century) will be played the first time in Bradford Cathedral.

Why do you enjoy playing the organ?
I love the instrument because of the wide range of sonorities and the possibilities to play together with instrumentalist and vocalists.

Do you have a particular favourite piece out of those you are playing?
I like the music by Sweelinck very much because of its creativity and cheerfulness.

This recital season we are celebrating ‘music for royal occasions’. Which of your pieces represents this, and why did you choose it?
The Ballo del Granduca by Sweelinck. It is very festive.

Have you ever met any royalty and / or played for them?
Last year his royal highness king Willem Alexander visited Saint-Johns Cathedral.

You play as part of the ‘Ensemble Rood Hout’. What is that like to be involved with?
It is always very nice to play together. Ensemble Rood Houd plays mainly 18th century music for Oboe, soprano and organ/harpsicord.

You also compose liturgical music. What are your top tips for creating a good piece of liturgical music?
Good liturgical music is always inspired by the text and the liturgical season. The best liturgical music ever is written by Heinrich Schütz.

Finally, how would you sum up your upcoming recital at Bradford Cathedral?
A great opportunity to hear some unknown but very interesting Dutch music. Especially the work by Daan Manneke, composed for the victims of Corona.

You can join us on Wednesday 17th May at 1pm for Gerben Budding‘s organ recital, with an optional £4 buffet lunch beforehand at 12:30pm. You can find out more about Gerben on his website, Facebook page, or Twitter account.

You can discover more about our organ recital season on our dedicated page

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