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Jacques van Oortmerssen began his musical studies at the Rotterdam Conservatory, studying the organ with André Verwoerd and the piano with Elly Salomé. He earned the distinction ‘cum laude’ for his final examination and was given a special prize for improvisation. Between 1974 and 1976 he studied with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris.

He was awarded the Prix d’Excellence in 1976.

In 1977 he received his degree as a piano soloist, and in the same year he was awarded first prize at the Dutch National Improvisation Competition. Since 1979 he has been Professor of Organ at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where his organ class attracts students from many different countries. In 1982 he succeeded Gustav Leonhardt as ‘Organiste Titulaire’ of the Waalse Kerk in Amsterdam.

In addition to being a visiting professor at the University of Göteborg, the Conservatorium of Lyon and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki for many years, he has visited conservatories and universities worldwide as a guest teacher and recitalist.

For the academic year 1993/94 he became Betts Fellow in Organ Studies at Oxford University.
As a recitalist he appeared in many international festivals like the BBC proms, the City of London Festival and the Prague Spring Festival. His interpretations of Bach and early music brought him widespread fame.

He is also active as a conductor, composer and organ consultant.

The complete organ works of Brahms and C.P.E.Bach (BIS) feature among his many recordings for various international recording and broadcast companies. In 1994 Jacques van Oortmerssen started recording the complete organ works by J.S.Bach on the most important historical organs in Europe.

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