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Sietze de Vries (Organist)

Making music out of intrinsic conception and one's own creativity. That, in short, is the credo of the organist and church musician Sietze de Vries (1973). The spearhead is improvisation as trade, and thus as path of learning. The collection of historic organs in the Netherlands, especially in the province of Groningen, is an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

Sietze de Vries received his professional training from, among others, Wim van Beek, Jan Jongepier and Jos van der Kooy. He was awarded his undergraduate degree at the Groningen Conservatoire; at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague he completed his post-graduate studies with an endorsement for improvisation. In addition, he graduated from the Alkmaar school for church music with the Dutch church music diploma.

Between 1987 and 2002 he won fifteen prizes at various national and international competitions for both repertoire and improvisation. The pinnacle, and also the conclusion, of that period was his triumph at the International Improvisation competition in Haarlem in 2002. On two previous occasions he had been a finalist.

Some other prizes:

  • 1st prize International organ contest l’Europe & l’Orgue (2000)
  • 1st prize Hindemith / Micheelsen contest NCRV (1996)
  • 1st prize National BACH-improvisation contest Amersfoort (2000)
  • 1st prize National improvisation contest Zwolle (1999)
  • ‘Hagerbeer prize’ international Schnitger-contest Alkmaar (1999)
  • ‘Flentrop prize’ international Schnitger-contest Alkmaar (2001)

Alongside his international concert work, Sietze de Vries also teaches. His teaching is geared towards propagating his ideas about the trade of improvisation. He achieves this by giving master classes and lectures in many European countries and The United States. He holds a position as ‘Visiting Professor’ at Collegedale University (USA) and teaches improvisation at the International Summer Organ Academy at Montreal (CA). He is also a great advocate of the historic organ and he shares this with others during excursions and other activities. Since 2006 he has been the accompanist of the Roden Boys Choir, a choir which sings in the English Anglican style

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