Christa Rakich, the main instructor for the academy, will be assisted by Organ Competition jurists, who will each teach a masterclass along with Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI) Festival presenters. A detailed schedule will be posted soon.
Concert and recording artist Christa Rakich directs the music program at St. Mark the Evangelist Church in West Hartford, CT. She has also served on the faculties of New England Conservatory, Westminster Choir College, Brandeis University, and the University of Connecticut, and as Assistant University Organist at Harvard. Her Artist-in-Residencies have included the University of Pennsylvania, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brookline, MA and First Lutheran Church in Boston and taught at the New England Conservatory for several years.
A prizewinner at international organ competitions (notably Bruges 1976), Rakich has received particular acclaim for her interpretations of the music of J. S. Bach. With keyboardist Peter Sykes, she performed a complete cycle of Bach’s keyboard works in a series of 34 concerts from 2003 to 2005 aptly named Tuesdays With Sebastian. The series is scheduled to repeat in 2013-2015.
With keyboardist Susan Ferré, Rakich is a founding performer of the Big Moose Bach Festival in Berlin, New Hampshire. Recordings include Bach’s Clavierübung III, Leipzig Chorales and Trio Sonatas.
Edoardo Bellotti is a renowned expert of early Italian Keyboard literature and performance practice, particularly in thorough bass and improvisation. He teaches historical organ at the Musikhochschule of Trossingen (Germany) and is regularly invited to give seminars and master classes in Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Korea. Bellotti has combined his performance career with a career in musicological research, publishing articles and texts, critical editions of keyboard compositions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and presenting his research at international conferences. Since 2003 he has been artistic consultant of the Smarano International Organ Academy (Trento, Italy). He has made several recordings on historical instruments, which have received critical acclaim.
Foccroulle Bernard began his international career as an organist in the mid-1970s, performing a wide repertoire ranging from Renaissance to contemporary. He has provided dozens of world premieres, and deepened in particular the organ works of J. S. Bach.
His discography includes over thirty solo recordings on CD including a complete organ works of Buxtehude that has collects numerous awards. Foccroulle maintains an active performing schedule and led the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, one of opera's most prominent organizations on the international scene, until 2007. In April 2006, he was appointed director of the Festival d'Art Lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence. Since 2010 he has been professor of organ at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels.
His compositions are primarily for the organ and voice and include works such as “Am Rande der Nacht”, a cycle of seven songs for soprano, chorus and orchestra on poems by Rilke, and a song cycle on poems by Verlaine.
Jon Laukvik study organ at the University of Music in Cologne with Michael Schneider and harpsichord with Hugo Ruf. He also studied organ privately with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris. In 1980, he was named professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart. Since 2001 he is also professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. He is also a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London as well as being a touring performer and masterclass instructor throughout the world.
Laukvik is author of a highly successful organ tutor Historical Performance Practice in Organ Playing, published by Carus-Verlag. A second book, on the performance of Romantic organ music (The Romantic Period), was published by Carus-Verlag in December 2000. His compositions include works for solo organ, organ with other instruments as well as vocal and instrumental works.
Jacques van Oortmerssen:
Jacques van Oortmerssen has been a prominent figure in the organ world for many years. He is internationally renowned for his versatility and particularly for his performances of the music of J. S. Bach. Van Oortmerssen studied with André Verwoerd, Elly Salomé and later with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris. He was awarded the Prix d’Excellence in 1976. He was appointed Professor of Organ at the Amsterdam Conservatory in 1979, at an exceptionally young age, and, in 1982, succeeded Gustav Leonhardt as Organiste-Titulaire of the Waalse Kerk in Amsterdam.
Jacques van Oortmerssen enjoys an international reputation as both soloist and pedagogue performing regularly and invited to teach at universities and conservatories throughout the world. A former visiting Professor of Organ at the universities of Gothenburg and Helsinki, as well as at the Conservatory of Lyon, van Oortmerssen was nominated Guest Professor of Organ at the University of Oxford during the academic year 1993/94. As a recording artist, van Oortmerssen has featured on more than 50 CD releases for prominent international labels, as well as broadcasting on both radio and television. He is presently under contract to Challenge Classics, for whom he is recording the complete organ works of J. S. Bach; a project which has generated significant international interest and recognition.