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Johan Hermans (Organ)

Born: 1962 - Hasselt, Belgium

The Belgian organist, Johan Hermans, studied at the famous Lemmens Institute in Louvain and at the Royal Conservatory of Liège. After graduating with master degrees in Organ and Church Music he concluded his organ studies with a thesis on "Rhetoric and Affects in the music of J.S. Bach". He also obtained the "Diplôme Supérieur" in organ playing at the Royal Conservatory of Liège with the performance of Francis Poulenc's concerto for organ, strings and percussion. Due to his outstanding achievements as a young organist he was awarded the State Medal by the Government of the French Community.

Next he was granted a scholarship several times to attend international master classes. He was taught by Jean Boyer,
Michel Chapuis, and Xavier Darasse (Toulouse-France) and by Dr. Harald Vogel (Norden-Germany). He participated at the international Summer Academy for organists in Haarlem (Holland) and attended the International Flor Peeters Master Class in Mechelen. In the competition ending this course, he won the first prize. Johan also took lessons from professor Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini as an active participant at the Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo in Pistoia, Italy.

Johan Hermans teaches organ at the Conservatory of Music of Hasselt. He is organist of the well-preserved and historically important Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Sacred Heart Church in the same town. He is also the artistic advisor on the annual organ concerts which are organized by the city of Hasselt, and presides a private organ concert association which is supported by the provincial and national authorities.

The past years he has developed into a frequently requested soloist, both in his own country and abroad. He has been invited to many music festivals in Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg, Austria, Czechia, Danmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and has given important concerts in Basel, Bergen,
Berlin, Copenhagen, Dresden, Hamburg, London, Paris (Notre Dame), Riga and Warsaw.

He has been invited several times for concert tours in the USA. He played recitals and gave lectures and master classes in major American cities such as New York, Seattle, Albuquerque, San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta and Washington D.C. In 1993 he was invited to Japan for the inaugural recital on a new organ in Itami and has been soloist in a number of concerts in the cities of Itami and Osaka. In 2000 and 2001 he was invited for concerts and masterclasses in Russia and Ukraine, in 2002 he was invited for a concert tour throughout Mexico.

Johan Hermans has given lectures on Flemish organ culture and organ building at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (1988), the Madison University in Wisconsin and the University of California (1991), the Osaka University of Arts in Japan (1993) and the Conservatories of Riga (1996) and Moscow (2001).

He has also participated in recordings for Belgian, Dutch, German, Canadian, Austrian, Latvian, Polish and American Broadcasting Corporations and has made several CD recordings.

Source: The Artist (October 2003)
Contributed by
Johan Hermans (October 2003)

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