GRONINGEN - In 2012 it is 450 years ago that the famous Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1625) was born. On this occasion the Stichting Martini Beiaard Groningen organises a carillon contest in cooperation with the Nederlandse Klokkenspel-Vereniging. This contest will take place on Saturday September 15, 2012 on the Hemony carillon in the Martini tower in Groningen (NL). Because of the character of this carillon this contest will be devoted to J.P. Sweelinck, his contemporaries and pupils.

The carillon in the Martini tower in Groningen consists of 52 bells. Thereof 30 bells were cast in 1662/63 by François Hemony, 22 bells were added by the Royal Bell-foundry Eijsbouts in 1984/85 and 1994. Three swinging bells (F, G, A on the keyboard) are also playable from the keyboard. The instrument is in mean tone tuning. More information can be found by following this link to the website of the Martini carillon.

The contest consists of two parts:

  • Playing the Martini carillon for 20 minutes at most.
  • Making an arrangement for carillon of a keyboard composition of J.P. Sweelinck.
The competition schedule is planned as follows:
  • 10 - 12 a.m.: first part of the preliminary round (4 candidates).
  • 2 - 4 p.m.: second part of the preliminary round (4 candidates).
  • 7.30 - 8.30 p.m.: final with 3 candidates selected by the jury. In this final they are free to play arrangements that match with the previous given conditions.

Members of the jury will be Bernard Winsemius (carillonneur and president), Henk Verhoef (professor at the Nederlandse Beiaard School), Chris Fictoor (former Dean of the Department of Arts, Hanzehogeschool in Groningen), Stef Tuinstra (organist), Adolph Rots (carillonneur). Non-voting secretary of the jury is Auke de Boer.

The following awards are available for the winners of the contest:
1st prize: € 1750,- + 2 carillon recitals in the summer of 2013.
2nd prize: € 1250,- + 1 carillon recital in the summer of 2013.
3rd prize: € 750,-.


  • Eight (8) candidates will be admitted to the contest.
  • A recent recording of the candidate playing a carillon, send in together with the application, will be used for the selection.
  • Candidates will play their own arrangement and fill up the rest of the playing time with (arrangements of) compositions dated before 1750.
  • The quality of the candidates' arrangement is part of the assessment of the jury.
  • The sequence in which the participants will perform is decided upon by drawing lots. The jury will not know the identity of the participants. So participants as well as their submitted arrangements are judged anonymously.
  • Selected candidates give their permission to the Stichting Martini Beiaard Groningen to publish their arrangements.
  • All candidates receive a compensation of € 200 for costs of travelling and accommodation.
  • The application has to include a short curriculum vitae and the recording on any sound carrier of the candidate playing a carillon, which will be returned.
  • Selected candidates will receive instructions about further contest details.
  • In the week preceding the contest every candidate will have one hour practising time on the Martini carillon.

You are kindly invited to participate in this contest. The application period closes on May 1, 2012.

Applications (with recording) should be sent to: Secretariaat Stichting Martini Beiaard Groningen, Chopinlaan 58, 9722 KH Groningen, The Netherlands. More information can be requested from the secretary, e-mail  E-mail or phone +31 (511) 44 45 40.