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Joris Verdin

Joris Verdin is both organist and musicologist. This combination matches his preference of reviving forgotten music at the same time as he creates contemporary compositions. He has an international reputation as a specialist in the nineteenth-century organ repertoire. He has recorded over fifty CDs as a soloist, spanning many musical eras and styles. After various activities as accompanist, arranger and producer he focuses on the organ as well as the harmonium and other keyboard instruments. Joris Verdin is head of the Organ Department at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp and is professor emeritus at the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Master classes, musical editions and articles are an important part of his activities. Amongst them, the first complete edition of César Franck harmonium works and the first handbook of harmonium technique, available in four languages. A compilation of his organ works was recorded in 1998 (RIC 233442) and reissued in 2014. From 2005 on, his roots as a rock band player made him develop his project of expanding organ sounds via MIDI, the “Hyper Organ” or “Augmented Organ”. This world of contemporary sound is anchored in the irreplaceable sound of analogue electronics from the seventies.

Joris Verdin is also active as a composer, some of his works have been recorded, also by other performers. His composition "Fantasia un poco como una batalla" was selected by Doblinger - Wien in the "Nuovi Fiori Musicali 2010", a collection of new music with compositions from European countries, he also participates in the Orgelbüchlein Project, the completion of Bach's work with contemporary compositions. Musician of the year of the Flanders Festival 2002. The Spanish city of Torre de Juan Abad (Ciudad Real) appointed Joris Verdin in 2003 as honorary organist of the historic organ of Gaspar de la Redonda from 1763. In addition, the harmonium has grown into more than a hobby. In 2013, he forms a piano-harmonium duo with Marie-Noëlle Bette-Leroy, which also includes literary and visual productions. Since 2016, the PipesandSpeakers project, the acoustic organ enhanced with digital sound processing, and compositions for videos have been playing an increasingly important role.
Since 1996, he is a member of the Gothenburg International Organ Festival, being artistic director in 2015. In 2023, Gothenburg University will publish a substantial e-book on tempo and metronome in the nineteenth century, with a special focus on the works of César Franck.

Obtained “Diapason d’Or” "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik". "Choc de la Musique", “Klara Prize” (Flemish Radio) and Cecilia-award (Belgian Press) for recordings of nineteenth century music as well as renaissance intabulations. He made the unique recording of any single piece by César Franck for both organ and harmonium. Since 2013 he forms a duo piano-harmonium with Marie-Noëlle Bette-Leroy, with special emphasis on rare keyboard instruments like square piano, pianino, physharmonica, orgue expressif, orgue-célesta. Joris Verdin was artistic adviser and played the inauguration of the Liszt “orgue-piano” in Vienna. The American Record Guide puts it this way: "Verdin, the apparent Dean of harmonium players, certainly knows how to get the most from the harmonium".