Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens (1823-1881) is generally regarded as a key figure for the development of organ music in the 19th century. He was one of the first internationally renowned Belgian organ virtuosos and as a teacher of Widor and Guilmant, he laid the foundation for the French symphonic organ school.
As author of a widespread organ method, as a teacher at the Conservatory of Brussels and as founder of the Lemmens Institute, he had a major influence on organ education in Belgium and France. In contrast with all of this, there is a limited amount of information available about him.
An in-depth artistic research into his importance and influence, together with the framing of his work within the evolutions of the European organ context, can make an important contribution to the practical research into 19th century organ and church music in Belgium. After all, this music carries a stigma of 'old-fashioned' or ‘left behind', but whoever investigates and performs it with 'new ears' and insights, determines that on the contrary it is innovative and creative.
Researcher: Annelies Focquaert
Promotoren: Henk De Smaele (UA) & Eugeen Schreurs (KCA)