6th NIGHT OF THE CHURCHES
Antwerp

Once a year the Antwerp churches
open their doors at night fall…

ORGAN AND MUSIC !

SATURDAY AUGUST 12th 2017

19.00 – 23.00

This year, 2017, it’s all about music and the organ

During the annual festival week around August 15th, the Antwerp churches once again shine in the evening sun for the annual ‘Night of the churches’. It will be a festive evening. Music and music traditions of the churches will be in the spotlights. Especially the organ ‘king of music instruments’ will heavenly sound in the churches. Many organists and other musicians cooperate to it.

Not less than 25 churches in both the Antwerp inner city as in the districts Berchem, Deurne and Merksem open their doors for this nocturn. At several location the parishes’ musical tradition will be evoked. Not only music societies, choirs and orchestras, but also songs and song books. With special attention for art pieces, windows, statues or painting with music as theme. Sometimes quite surprising are musical compositions referring to such objects.

But in a church the most evident musical instrument is the organ. A lot of multi-centennial Antwerp churches are home to impressive historic organs, while in others contemporary instruments resound. That evening most organs will be played on. Organists will provide explanations and in some churches the organ can be viewed from close at the rood loft.

The ‘Night of the Antwerp Churches’ will be a unique occasion to approach the Antwerp church music culture and to get close to organs, music and performers.

The churches’ offerings are very diverse:

  • bells and carillon: all churches start the evening at 00 with festive bells, immediately followed by a carillon concert at Our Lady’s Cathedral;
  • guided tours are provided for in all churches by local or TOPA guides;
  • concerts: most churches offer organ concerts with the participation of well-known organists: Roberto Marini, Emmanuel Van Kerckhoven, Peter Van de Velde, Peter Strauven, Willem Ceuleers, Masako Honda, Anna An, Jan Noordzij, Annelies Focquaert, Steven Moens, Alfons De Meulder, Frans Moors, Joannes Thuy, Nicolas De Troyer, Ludo Van den Bos, Pater Kenny Brack, plus upcoming talent, among them students of Emmanuel Van Kerckhoven;
  • musical programs with the Spinetti Consort (Beguinage), the Saint Francis choir (Saint Francis’ Merksem), de Schola Gregoriana Cantabo (Saint Laurence’s), African choirs (Saint Walburga’s), Stefaan van den Putte on a Steinway piano (id.), clarinetist Marc Van Hoorick (Saint Anna Selbtritt), the Cathedral Choir with Sebastiaan van Steenberge (Cathedral);
  • a vocal program with the ‘cocreative song group Dr. Song’ with Jan Bervoets;
  • a program from ‘Gregorian up to 19th-century vocal music’ and unknown works from music archives (Saint George’s);
  • new organ projects: plans for a modern organ for Saint Norbert’s (Orgelmakerij Reil, Heerde, N.) or a recently reassembled organ in the Capuchin’s Saint Francis’ (Kerckhof organ, 1910)
  • exhibitions: many churches exhibit art pieces, song books, banners or religious artefacts mainly connected to the music theme; non-stop informationabout the churches’ music traditions and the organs;
  • two organ walks (see further on).

 

Clusters?  

  • some churches are ‘combined’ in clusters making it more easy to visit them one after another;
  • the slightly more distant churches of Merksem, within walking distance of each other, are connected to Saint Amand’s via Metroline 3;
  • a misfit but easy to reach is Saint Romuald’s in Deurne. A church to discover! With a VELO station nearby (237-Ter Rivieren);
  • Saint Anna Selbtritt on the Left Bank has a specific program; you get there by metro or bike;
  • Also a nice cooperation of the protestant church ‘the Brabant Olive Mountain’, certainly in this Luther year, a combined offer with the Beguinage and the Capuchin’s Saint Francis’.

Choose between two ‘organs walks’:

  • in the ‘University Quarter’:
    • organist and composer Willem Ceuleers first plays on the Geurts organin Saint Catharina’s of the Beguinage (19.00), than the recently reassembled Kerckhof organ in the Capuchin’s Saint-Francis’ (19.40 and 21.30) alternating with the Walcker organ in the Protestant Brabant Olive Mountain (20.30 and 22.15). He plays music he especially composes fort his event, fine-tuned for each individual organ.
  • ‘from cathedral to the 1930 exhibition quarter’:
    • Peter Van de Velde, titular organist at the cathedral, walks along four churchesStarting at 19.30 with a concert on the Cathedral’s Metzler organ. Walking further to the Gerard D’Hondtorgel in Saint Walburga’s(20.30) and the Stevens organ of the Saints Michael and Peter church (21.30). At the Christ King’s organist Roberto Marino plays the final recital with music from Flor Peeters (22.30). you either go along the whole walk (public transport or bike) or just pop in at a concert of your choice. No reservation needed.

The participating churches and their historic or more recent organs:

17th century organs

  • The Nicolaes van Haeghen-Forceville organ from Saint Paul’s (1658)

18th century organs

  • The Dillens-Delhaye organ from Saint Carolus Borromeus’ (1722)
  • The Forceville organs from Saint James’ (1729) and Saint Willibrordus’ (Berchem) (1725)
  • The Van Peteghem organ from Saint Andrew’s (1791)

19th century organs

  • The Loret-Stevens organ from Saint-Norbert’s (1846)
  • The Willem Hendrik Mondt-Groenewoud organ from Saint Anne’s Chapel (1864)
  • The Merklin-Schütze organ from Saint George’s (1867)
  • The Petrus Stevens organ from Saint Amand’s (1878)
  • The Geurts organ from Saint Catherine’s at the Beguinage (1881)
  • The Anneessens organ from Saint James’ (1884)
  • The Schyven organ from Our Lady’s Cathedral (1891)

20th century organs

  • The Walcker organ from the Brabant Olive Mountain church (1905)
  • The Kerckhof organ from the Capuchin’s Saint Francis’ (1910)
  • The Klais organ from Christ the King (1930)
  • The Stevens organs from Saints Michael and Peter (1909) and Saint Franciscus of Assisi (Merksem) (1934)
  • The Pels D’Hondt organs from Saint Lawrence’s (1934), Saint Walburga’s (1940), Saint Bartholomeus’ (Merksem) (1956) and Saint Rumoldus’ (Deurne) (1967)
  • The Aerts&Castrel organ from Saint Anna’s Selbtritt (Left Bank) (1970)
  • The Bert de Vylder organ from Saint Andrew’s (1979)
  • The Metzler organ from Our Lady’s Cathedral (1993)
  • The Ghislain Potvlieghe-De Maeyer organ from Saint Paul’s (1998)
  • The Johannus Rembrandt organ from Saint Andrew’s (2000)
Practical In a nutshell
When? Saterday august 12th 2017 from 19.00 up to 23.00.
Where? In 21 churches in Antwerp inner city and in districts Berchem, Deurne and Merksem. Look further for a city map.
Program Further on you access for each church (only in Ducth): general information, a description of the organs and the evening’s program.
All possible connections with public transport and Antwerp-VELO are mentionned also.
University cluster St.-James Sint-Jacobstraat, A.-2000
  Brabant Olive Mountain Lange Winkelstraat 5, A.-2000
  St.-Anna’s chappel Keizerstraat 21-23, A.-2000
  St.-Catharina’s (Beguinage) Rodestraat 39, A.-2000
  St.-Francis’ (Capuchins) Ossenmarkt 14, A.-2000
Centre Our Lady’s Cathedral Handschoenmarkt, A.-2000
  St.-Carolus Borromeus Conscienceplein, A.-2000
  St.-Paul’s Veemarkt 14, A.-2000
Fourth Quarter St.-Andrew’s Waaistraat, A.-2000
  St.-Georges’ Mechelseplein 22, A.-2000
Left Bank St.-Anna-Selbtritt Hanegraefstraat 1, A.-2050
South Christ the King Louis Straussstraat 5, A.-2020
  St.-Lawrence’s Van Schoonbekestraat 155, A.-2018
  Sts.-Michael and Peter Amerikalei 165, A.-2000
  St.-Walburga’s Volkstraat 41, A.-2000
North St.-Amandus Van Kerckhovenstraat 35, A.-2060
Zurenborg St.-Norbert’s Dageraadplaats, A.-2018
Berchem St.-Willibrord’s Heilig Hartstraat 11, A.-2600
Deurne St.-Rumold’s Ter Rivierenlaan 84, A.-2100
Merksem St.-Bartholomew’s Bredabaan/St.-Bartholomeusstr., A.-2170
  St.-Franciscus of Assisi Bredabaan 549, A.-2170

Everyone is most welcome, young and old.
Free entrance in all churches.

The “Night of the Antwerp Churches” is set up by vzw Toerismepastoraal Antwerpen (TOPA)

You can contact us by mail at info@topa.be

Look also to the other items on this multi-lingual website with its extended historical and cultural informations about the Antwerp churches.

‘Holy Virgin surrounded by angels’, Jan I Snellinck, Saint James’.
Painting ‘Holy Virgin surrounded by angels’, Jan I Snellinck, early 17th century, representing a seven-voice Magnificat. Saint James’ church, chapel of the minstrels.
the Forceville organ at Saint James'
The Geurts organ from Saint Catharine's at the Beguinage