The 2021 Inaugural Festival

The Inaugural Waterford International Organ Festival

In the end there will be light and a legacy that lives on

The first Waterford International Organ Festival took place on 11-13 June 2021, featuring performances by internationally acclaimed organists from France, Germany, Ireland, Japan and Switzerland.  The coronavirus pandemic has brought about major rethinking in the presentation of live music and its content. Thanks to ever developing technology, The Waterford International Organ Festival not only presented performers from Ireland and abroad, but also included all of them in each of the recitals playing the instruments of which they have charge.  The concerts took the listener through the emotional journeys of Despair, Promise and Hope. Two composers featured in each programme, Johann Sebastian Bach and Eric Sweeney. Dr. Sweeney, composer, organist, conductor and teacher, was in charge of music at Christ Church Cathedral in Waterford from 1991 until his retirement in 2018. Eric, who sadly passed away in July of last year, was a much loved and respected friend and colleague, especially of those who worked with him in the cathedral. His works were performed in memoriam.

The Inaugural Waterford International Organ Festival was generously supported by the Church of Ireland Priorities Fund and Waterford City and County Council.


Olivier Salandini, France (Professor at Conservatoire Clermont-Ferrand and Organist of Bourges Cathedral) (OS)

Vincent Thévenaz, Switzerland (Professor at Haute Ecole de Musique Geneva, Organist at Cathédrale St-Pierre Geneva) (VT)

Megumi Tokuoka, Japan (Lecturer at Tokyo University of the Arts and Organist in residence at Toyota Concert Hall) (MT)

Stefan Viegelahn, Germany (Professor at Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Frankfurt am Main) (SV)

Simon Harden, Ireland (Lecturer in Organ at TU Dublin Conservatoire, Organist at Christ Church Cathedral Waterford) (SH)


Concert 1: Despair (11 June 2021)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir à 6 In Organo pleno con Pedale doppio – BWV 686 (SH)

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): Herzlich tut mich verlangen (No. 9) and Herzlich tut mich verlangen (No. 10) from Elf Choralvorspiele, Op. 122 (OS)

Marcel Dupré (1886-1971): Crucifixion from Symphonie-Passion’ (OS)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig BWV 618 (MT)

Flor Peeters (1903-1986): Elégie Op. 38 (MT)

Ernst Pepping (1901-1981):Toccata und Fuge Mitten wir im Leben sind (SV)

Eric Sweeney (1948-2020): The Widening Gyre (SH)

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) : Introduction, Milonga y Muerte del Angel (VT)

Concert 2: Promise (12 June 2021)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Fantasia und Fuge in a-minor BWV 543 (OS) 

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) : Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend BWV 655 and Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend BWV 709 (VT)

Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937): Cantilène, extrait de la Symphonie Romane, Op. 73 (MT)

Franz Tunder (1614-1667): Christ lag in Todesbanden (MT)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott BWV 651 (SH)

Franck Martin (1890-1974) : Agnus Dei (VT)

Eric Sweeney (1948-2020): The Secret Rose (SH)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847): Sonate in c-minor Op. 65, No. 2 (SV)

Concert 3: Hope (13 June 2021)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) : Toccata in E BWV 566 (MT)

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) : Vogel als Prophet (arranged for organ by Lionel Rogg) (VT)

Lionel Rogg (b. 1936) : Sunset, Nocturne, Sunrise (VT)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) : Allegro from Concerto in C BWV 594 (OS)

Marcel Dupré (1886-1971): Résurrection from Symphonie-Passion (OS)

Eric Sweeney (1948-2020): Le Cercle de Lumière (SH)

César Franck (1822-1890): Fantasie Op. 16 (VT)

Thierry Escaich (b. 1965): Vers l’esperance (SH)

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