Leuven Bell and Carillon Society Campanae Lovanienses competition 2021

July 20, 2021
Tienen campanile
The campanile of Tienen, Belgium

The Leuven (Belgium) Bell and Carillon Society Campanae Lovanienses organized an international contest for carillon composition and arrangement marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of organist, carillonneur, and composer Matthias Vanden Gheyn (Tienen, 1721–Leuven, 1785). There were two categories: carillon compositions inspired by the concept of cosmology and carillon arrangements of a work of the Baroque period. (See the January 2021 issue of The Diapason, pages 6–7.)

In the first category, 32 submissions were received from twelve countries; in the second category, thirty submissions were received from eight countries. The submissions in category 1 were judged by an international jury of four composers/pianists and four carillonneurs. The submissions in category 2 were evaluated by the four carillonneurs in the jury. The results were announced on June 12 during the online congress of the World Carillon Federation.

For carillon compositions, first prize (€2,000) was awarded to Geert D’hollander, carillonneur at Bok Tower, Lake Wales, Florida, for his work Halos; second prize (€1,000) to Jeroen Malaise, musician in Antwerp, for his work The Vermilion Bird of the South; third prize (€500) to Thomas Laue, carillonneur in Canberra, Australia, for his work Boomerang Nebula. These compositions will be performed on October 2 on several carillons in Leuven during the cultural city festival “Knal!,” the Leuven Big Bang Festival. This festival honors the Leuven priest and professor Georges Lemaître (1894–1966), who first developed the theories of the expansion of the universe (1927) and of the big bang (1931).

For carillon arrangements, first prize (€1,500) was awarded to Thomas Laue for an arrangement of Sonate for Violin, op. 16, no. 12, by Isabella Leonarda (1620–1704); second prize (€750) to Geert D’hollander for an arrangement of Suite No. 1 for Harpsichord by Joseph-Hector Fiocco (1703–1741); third prize (€ 500) to Roy Kroezen (carillonneur in Centralia, Illinois), for an arrangement of French Suite No. 2 by Johann Sebastian Bach. The three winning arrangements will be performed in autumn 2021 and in summer 2022 on the Peace Carillon in Park Abbey (replica after 1730) and the city carillon of Tienen (1723).

Campanae Lovanienses will make the scores of the five highest-ranked entries in both categories available free of charge to the international carillon community. The jury consisted of Michael Finnissy (UK), Anthony Romaniuk (Australia), Leo Samama (the Netherlands), Annelies Van Parys (Belgium), Stefano Colletti (France), Koen Cosaert (Belgium), Monika Kazmierczak (Poland), and Tiffany Ng (United States).

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