Hans Fidom

prof. dr. Hans Fidom

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Chair Organ Studies / Established by the Orgelpark Foundation

  • Orgelpark Amsterdam | Concert Venue & Research Institute
  • Gerard Brandtstraat 26 | NL-1054 JK | Amsterdam | The Netherlands 
  • Phone: +31 6 537 14 735
  • Mail: j.fidom@vu.nl


Chair Organ Studies

The chair Organ Studies at VU University was established in May 2010 by the Orgelpark Foundation, Amsterdam (www.orgelpark.nl). The mission of the Orgelpark is to integrate the organ in current music cultures by presenting it in new ways. Organ Studies focuses on the transition the organ is experiencing: after having lived in church for six centuries, it now has to reposition itself as the secular instrument it was before, in the first sixteen centuries of its existence. The chair succeeds the chair 'Orgelkunde' which was established at VU Amsterdam in 1987. University organist and Bach expert prof.dr. Ewald Kooiman held the chair until his death in 2009. 



Organ Studies is multi-disciplinary by nature: it touches the fields of Sound Studies, Philosophy, Musicology, Art Studies, and History. The main themes are Musicking (Improvisation, New Music, Performance History), Organ Building (Historical concepts, new technologies), History (Sound Heritage, historical integrations of technology, architecture, design, and sound), and Philosophy (What is it to make music, and what to listen to music?).



Organ Studies focuses on musicians and listeners, being the main actors when music sounds. This inspires new developments in organ building, in music-making, and in listening: Organ Studies represents the center of the international network developing 'hyperorgans'. Hyperorgans combine historically informed sound concepts with cutting-edge digital interfaces. The musics inspired by these instruments challenge common philosophical positions regarding musicking, and invite developing new listening strategies. 

Organ Studies and Orgelpark Research organize annual international symposia at the Orgelpark in close cooperation. Themes include Improvisation (2008-2011), Medieval Organ Art (2012-2017), Digital Organ Technology (2014-2021), Interaction and Mediation between Technology and Listening/Making Music (2013-), and The Art of Voicing (2017-). The results of the projects are published in the e-book series Orgelpark Research Reports, readable and listenable for free at www.orgelpark.nl.



Honours Course: Music: Listening & Philosophy. 6 ECTS. English spoken. Lectures, workshops. Open for any honours student interested in music. Training in listening to music and in thinking about listening as a musical activity. Getting acquainted with the problems challenging music makers and listeners, as well as with composers, musicians and philosophers. Overview of the history of music philosophies. Discussing concepts such as Authenticity, Quality and Meaning. Contributions by international guest lecturers, including pop musicians.

Research Master/Master Seminar: Sound Heritage. 6/9 ECTS. English spoken. Lectures, workshops, field work. Information here (Research Master) and here (Master). Sound Heritage explores what sounds and sound concepts have been approved in the past; under what conditions these might be considered heritage today; and what saving such concepts for future generations actually means. Artistic activity (listening to sound in music) is a major element in this seminar, to be integrated in otherwise 'normal' academic research strategies.

Summercourse Making Music :||: Thinking Sound. Bi-annual summercourse for both artistic students (Schools of Music) and academic students (Universities). Focus on the artistic in academia, and the academic in art. Lectures, concerts, workshops by internationally acclaimed professionals, both artists and academics. Assignments: essays, poster presentations. 

Tutorials. 6/9/12 ECTS. Subjects to be suggested by the student. 

Theses. Students who wish to focus on or just include organ music related research in their theses are welcome. This option may be especially worthwhile for humanities and philosophy students, musicology students and conservatory students.

PhD's. Organ Studies offers the opportunity to engage in PhD-research. Themes should be organ (music) related. 


Curriculum vitae

Hans Fidom is Professor of Organ Studies at VU University Amsterdam, Leader of the Orgelpark Research Program, an internationally active organ expert, as well as an organist.

Hans Fidom studied musicology at the University of Amsterdam and Organ Studies at VU Amsterdam. He completed his studies cum laude at the University of Groningen in 1993. In 2002 he took his doctoral degree at VU Amsterdam. His dissertation focuses on socio-musicological aspects of the German organ scene between 1880 and 1918. Today, the few examples of this organ type that survived the 20th century, have become recognized as instruments deserving to be taken seriously, not least by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. 

Hans Fidom is examiner for the Dutch School for Organ Experts and member of the Dutch College of Organ Experts. He was an organ builder for a few years after graduation, in order to get hands-on experience in that field. He was chief editor of the magazine Het Orgel from 1996 until 2006. In 1997 he initiated the National Improvisation Competition for Organists in Zwolle. He was member of the International Improvisation Competition Foundation Haarlem (2000-2007), vice-president of the Gerard Bunk Gesellschaft, Dortmund (1995-2007), and member of the board of the Royal Assocation for Music History of The Netherlands (2011-2017). He was vice-president of the Music Committee and member of the later Main Committee of the Art Council Groningen (advisory board of the local government of the city and province of Groningen). Furthermore, he was chief editor of the Encyclopedia 'Het historische orgel in Nederland'. 



Ancillary activities

  • Stichting het Orgelpark | Amsterdam | Leider Orgelpark Research Program | 2020-07-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily


  • M Music
  • BH Aesthetics
  • NX Arts in general
  • D204 Modern History
  • ML Literature of music
  • MT Musical instruction and study


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