Today it was announced that Evan Bogerd has become the First Prize Winner of the national improvisation competition during the Bach Festival Dordrecht. Hans van Haeften won the Second Prize. Part of the First Prize is participation in the first round in Haarlem. As a result, all eight candidates of the Haarlem International Improvisation Competition were announced today. Three Dutch candidates are participating in the competition this year.

In addition to Evan Bogerd and Hans van Haeften, Maurits Bunt and Bas Koster were also allowed to choose two themes for their two improvisations from three assignments today in the Grote Kerk in Dordrecht: an improvisation around BACH, an improvisation based on the song 'Yes, I would prefer I' (Songbook 945, a melody by Herbert Beuerle) and an improvisation based on Exodus 32: 15-20. With the latter, three musical themes could optionally be used. Both the Bach and Kam organs had to be played. The jury, consisting of Zuzana Ferjenčíková, Gerben Mourik and Jan Hage, unanimously selected Bogerd as the winner.

In April, the first seven participants for the Haarlem competition were selected from submitted recordings: Sebastian Benetello, Marcel Eliasch, Niklas Jahn and David Kiefer from Germany, the Swiss Cyril Julien and the Dutch Harmen Trimp and Wouter van der Wilt. Eighth place was reserved for the winner of the national improvisation competition during the Dordrecht Bach Festival, and that was Evan Bogerd.

On July 20, 22 and 23, an international jury will be held in Haarlem, consisting of Zuzana Ferjenčíková (SLO/A), Vincent Thévenaz (CH), Dominik Susteck (D), Martijn Padding and Gerben Mourik (NL), chaired by Ansgar Wallenhorst. (D) assess the performance of the eight participants. The assignments, which will remain secret from the candidates until an hour before their performance, will again be very diverse and will also be a particularly colorful competition by combining different art forms. Ansgar Wallenhorst, who sat on the selection jury in April, confirms: 'The standard of the entries was remarkably high this year. It seems as if improvisation is experiencing a revival internationally. In any case, it promises to be a competition of great allure!'


Photo: Dordrecht, June 22, 2022. Evan Bogerd (right, first prize), Hans van Haeften (second from right, second prize), Cor Ardesch (creator of the improvisation assignments) and the jury (from left: Gerben Mourik, Jan Hage, Zuzana Ferjenčíková and chairman Peter Ouwerkerk).
Photo: Geerten Liefting

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