Skip to main content

Organisation

The Contius Foundation is a foundation of public intrest that was established on June 6, 2006.

Board

  • Jean-Pierre de Bandt (honorary chair)
  • Hendrik Vanmolkot (chair)
  • Carl Bevernage
  • Lina Blanpain
  • Bart Demuyt
  • Mark Eyskens
  • Bernard Foccroulle
  • Koen Geens
  • Fabienne Legrand (vice-chair)
  • Katlijn Malfliet
  • Bart Raymaekers
  • Hendrik Van Dessel (secretary)
  • Geert Van Overloop (treasurer)
  • Renate Weytjens

Artistic council

  • Bernard Foccroulle (chair)
  • Benjamin Alard
  • David Burn
  • Hans Davidsson
  • Laurens de Man
  • Bart Demuyt
  • Nicolas De Troyer
  • Benoît Mernier
  • Luc Ponet
  • Annette Richards
  • Pieter van Dijk
  • Joris Verdin
  • Renate Weytjen

Protection Committee

  • Vincent Blondel
  • Bruno Colmant
  • Mark Eyskens
  • Koen Geens
  • Jan Huyghebaert
  • Gilles Ledure
  • Luc Sels 
  • Louis Tobback
  • Jozef Van Osta
  • Annick Van Overstraeten
  • Marc Vervenne

Organists & staff

  • Wim Winters (organist-titular)
  • David Burn (titular-liturgy)
  • Francesca Ajossa (organist in residence)
  • Veerle Braem (general coordinator)
  • Anna Wood (administration & events)

Why a 'Bach'-organ?

Many prestigious organs were built in the 17th and 18th centuries,not only in the Low Countries, but all over Europe. Superb instruments of the baroque period have survived, great and small, in varying styles, still perfectly playable… but no instrument such as the one built in Liepaja (Latvia) by Heinrich Andreas Contius in 1773-1779. Thanks to scientific research and generous private sponsoringthe Contius Foundation has undertaken the construction of a replica of this historic organ. Now after almost 250 years, it will again be possible to enjoy authentic performances of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, his family and his contemporaries, on an instrument standing on aspecially recreated organ-gallery, in the exceptional acoustics of the Saint Michaels Church,Leuven.

Jean-Pierre de Bandt

Honorary chairman Contius Foundation

H.A. Contius and J.S. Bach

Ich bekenne also hierdurch, nach meinem Gewißen, daß gedachten Hernn Cuntzii seine Arbeit in gedachten Orgeln und Instrumenten dergestalt gut und Regelmäßig sey, daß nichts dargegen einzuwenden ist, und nichts mehr zu wünschen wäre, als daß all dergleichen Arbeiten so tüchtig verfertigt würden, damit die Gottes Häuser sowohl als alle andere Liebhaber von dergleichen Musicalischen Instrumenten hinfüro nicht mehr durch Stümper betrogen würden.

Leipzig, den 12ten Januar 1748

Johann Sebastian Bach

A unique project

The Contius organ in Leuven is a unique project, not only by the scope of its innovation but also through the scientific approach to its conception. For first time in Belgium an instrument from Mitteleuropahas been recreated with such rigorous research. The scientific analysis into the construction of the Contius organ preserved in Liepaja has been both painstaking and thorough, and has produced new insights into organ-building developments of the period, highlyesteemed by J.S. Bach. It is to be hoped that the sound of this reconstructed instrument will reveal new aspects of the timeless quality of Bach’s organ works, and serve for many years as a reference-instrumentfor organists and organ-builders.

Bernard Foccroulle

Chairman of the artistic council of the Contius Foundation

An European project

This project has only been possible since the end of the cold war and renewed collaboration with the Baltic States. This fraternal cooperation is a direct result of peace in Europe. It is the same for our own country, as both communities have worked together on the construction of this organ. In 1944 the church was almost completely devastated by bombing. Destruction is always attended by uproar and clamor, whereas renewal is the fruit of reflection and calm. I would like to commend those who from the very beginning have worked on this project with patienceand faith. It represents so much more than just the construction of an organ. It is a symbol of tolerance, of international cooperation, and of theeminence of the historic city of Leuven.

Mark Eyskens

Board of Directors of the Contius Foundation - Minister of State