The organ weeps: Gustav Leonhardt’s heir has died

The organ weeps: Gustav Leonhardt’s heir has died


norman lebrecht

November 22, 2015

The Dutch organist, composer and conductor Jacques van Oortmerssen has died at the age of 65.

Rotterdam born, Jacques succeeded Gustav Leonhardt at Amsterdam Waalse kerk, where he played the great Christian Müller organ of 1734.

Widely esteemed, he performed and taught at major festivals around the world, including the BBC Proms. Like his predecessor, he recorded the organ works of J S Bach, but saw only nine volumes released. He lived to complete a recorded edition of the works of C P E Bach and Johannes Brahms.

May he rest in peace.

Jacques van Oortmerssen

Despite a somewhat forbidding demeanour, he could take a joke.



  • John Borstlap says:

    Shocking! Jacques was a great man. He could create the impression that the instrument was a living being, breathing with life. His Bach is the most expressive available.