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The Society

Arp Schnitger was the most important organ builder in Northern Europe in the Baroque era. He built over 170 organs, most of which are preserved in North Germany and the Dutch province of Groningen.

The Arp Schnitger Cultural Heritage Society (Arp-Schnitger-Kulturerbe e.V.) puts the work of master organ builder Arp Schnitger centre stage. The ultimate aim of the society is the recognition as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage of these organs. This is a complex process. First of all, because the question of when and how to start the application process for Arp Schnitger organs to become Unesco World Heritage and how this application should be formulated, is difficult to answer, due to the politics of the process. Secondly, because it is debatable whether in this context the name of Arp Schnitger alone should be central. Having said that, Arp Schnitger can be regarded as the strongest “brand”. “Arp Schnitger” has by now become a brand name. When and how should the application process of Arp Schnitger organs be started? How should this even be formulated taking into account the application criteria? It also seems debatable whether in this context the name of Arp Schnitger should be central. All that said, we could follow the recommendation to focus primarily on »vernacular architecture« when applying to World Cultural Heritage, in the sense that the nameless rural architecture, which includes the works of art that are these Northern village organs, is given an identifiable name with the Arp Schnitger Organs.

In conclusion, Arp Schnitger and UNESCO remain the Alpha and Omega – or perhaps we should say the A and U - of the society’s identity. Together they form the Archimedian point. And according to Archimedes, Archimedean points even make sense when they are accepted purely hypothetically. This is why the society Arp-Schnitger-Kulturerbe e.V. has agreed on the following 5-point program in its meeting of 2/6/2016:

Die Menschen

Prof. Monika Harms

Attorney General (ret.)

What a cultural heritage which has been entrusted to us! These precious instruments have to be looked after. We can and will build on the foundations that have already been laid.

Walter Theuerkauf

Distric Administrator (ret.), Aurich

Arp Schnitger’s organs are our cultural heritage in North Germany. We cannot lose another one.

Dr. Matthias Sträßner

Head of Culture (ret.), Deutschlandfunk

The organs of Arp Schnitger are a gigantic treasure, which we need to preserve and pass on to our children.

Prof. Thomas Albert

Artistic Director Musikfest Bremen GmbH

To make music with the breath of these instruments, to dive into the incomparable sound spectrum of these characteristic organs, this is an irreplaceable experience for a musician. It is both a challenge and our duty to do everything we can to make these moments possible – for the next generations of musicians, but most of all for viewers and listeners.

Matina Gesine Lohmüller

Cultural Manager

The links between the cultural and economical history have to be mapped out as well, to show that the time around 1700 was a real Golden Age for our region.

Annabel Brown

Sponsoring Musikfest Bremen GmbH

Arp Schnitger’s instruments can be regarded as the Stradivarii amongst organs and are part of a global organ culture which originated in the Northwest of Europe. Our goal is to preserve and protect these.

Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Harald Vogel

Organist and Professor

The combination of the beautiful sound and sustainable engineering of Schnitger’s organs is unsurpassed. No other style of organs has become such an example in the last 100 years. Arp Schnitger is the most important organ builder from the past for us today.

Prof. Dr. Manfred Cordes

Arp Schnitger Institute for Organs and Organ Building at the University of the Arts Bremen

The northwest of Germany preserves with its organs a valued treasure. It is the aim of the Arp-Schnitger-Institute of the Hochschule für Künste to conserve it.

Helmut Bahlmann, Pfr. i.R.

Officer of the Board of Arp-Schnitger-Gesellschaft

Life and work of the world-famous organ builder Arp Schnitger from the Wesermarsch for the present and future is the declared goal of our region and finds its lively expression with the activities of the Arp Schnitgercentrum in Golzwarden as an information and meeting place.

People

Prof. Monika Harms

Attorney General (ret.)

What a cultural heritage which has been entrusted to us! These precious instruments have to be looked after. We can and will build on the foundations that have already been laid.

Walter Theuerkauf

Distric Administrator (ret.), Aurich

Arp Schnitger’s organs are our cultural heritage in North Germany. We cannot lose another one.

Dr. Matthias Sträßner

Head of Culture (ret.), Deutschlandfunk

The organs of Arp Schnitger are a gigantic treasure, which we need to preserve and pass on to our children.

Prof. Thomas Albert

Artistic Director Musikfest Bremen GmbH

To make music with the breath of these instruments, to dive into the incomparable sound spectrum of these characteristic organs, this is an irreplaceable experience for a musician. It is both a challenge and our duty to do everything we can to make these moments possible – for the next generations of musicians, but most of all for viewers and listeners.

Matina Gesine Lohmüller

Cultural Manager

The links between the cultural and economical history have to be mapped out as well, to show that the time around 1700 was a real Golden Age for our region.

Annabel Brown

Sponsoring Musikfest Bremen GmbH

Arp Schnitger’s instruments can be regarded as the Stradivarii amongst organs and are part of a global organ culture which originated in the Northwest of Europe. Our goal is to preserve and protect these.

Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Harald Vogel

Organist and Professor

The combination of the beautiful sound and sustainable engineering of Schnitger’s organs is unsurpassed. No other style of organs has become such an example in the last 100 years. Arp Schnitger is the most important organ builder from the past for us today.

Prof. Dr. Manfred Cordes

Arp Schnitger Institute for Organs and Organ Building at the University of the Arts Breme

The northwest of Germany preserves with its organs a valued treasure. It is the aim of the Arp-Schnitger-Institute of the Hochschule für Künste to conserve it.

Helmut Bahlmann, Priest. Ret.

Officer of the Board of Arp-Schnitger-Gesellschaft

Life and work of the world-famous organ builder Arp Schnitger from the Wesermarsch for the present and future is the declared goal of our region and finds its lively expression with the activities of the Arp Schnitgercentrum in Golzwarden as an information and meeting place.

01
Preserve!

The preservation of Arp Schnitger organs is central to the society. Of the 170 organs, only about 30 remain. We must ensure no more organs are lost.

02
Document!

The documentation about the organs brings together the work started by Schnitger researcher Gustav Fock 100 years ago and the academic projects of the Arp Schnitger Institute for Organs and Organ building (ASIOO).

1 See: Databae of Organs of the ASIOO

03
Value!

It is essential we increase people’s appreciation of the cultural-historical context. The Arp Schnitger organs should also be seen as part of both cultural and economical history.

04
Circulate!

The society wants to give regional activities an international appeal.

05
Perform!

Historically, organ art has always been connected to vocal-instrumental performances. The instrumentarium of the Renaissance and Baroque is represented in the sounds of the organ. The society pushes for the rediscovery of the organ’s role as an ensemble instrument.