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The Jury – Preliminary Round

Hayo Boerema (1972) was born in Groningen. He studied organ, improvisation and choral conducting at the conservatories of The Hague and Rotterdam. Further specialization followed with Jos van der Kooy, Naji Hakim (Paris) and Ben van Oosten. He was successful in various international music competitions and festivals, winning awards in Vienna (1998), Nuremberg (1999), Paris (1999), St Albans (2001), Nijmegen (2004) and Kotka (2005).
In 2009 he was granted the silver medal of merit by the Société Académique d’Education et d’Encouragement ‘Arts, Sciences, Lettres’ in Paris for his efforts toward French organ music.

In 2005 Boerema was appointed titular organist of the 4 manual Marcussen organ in the St. Laurenskerk in Rotterdam. He always seeks to make the organ and it’s manifold possibilities in sound and musical style more accessible to a broader audience. As a musician, Boerema is not only involved in playing the organ, he also works as a composer. One of his larger compositions, his Messe Solennelle for organ, choir, percussion and soloists, was recorded in 2019 by the Laurenscantorij and received favorable reviews. Besides his work as a performing musician, Boerema has been a professor of improvisation at Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam since 2010. He is regularly invited to be a member of the jury at international organ competitions. For more info see his website


Theo Jellema (1955) studied organ at the Conservatory in Groningen in the organ class of Wim van Beek and graduated with distinction in 1978. In addition to his work as city organist of Leeuwarden, he teaches organ at the Prince Claus Conservatory in Groningen. As a recitalist he has performed in many European countries, as well as in Russia, Japan and Korea. Over the years he has played several ‘integrals’. For the recordings of the ‘All of Bach’ project by the Nederlandse Bach Vereniging he played a number of Bach’s organ works.

Jellema is regularly invited as a jury member at international organ competitions and gives master classes and workshops at prestigious conservatories around the world. He has made CD recordings of important historical organs and works as an organ consultant. In the autumn of 2019 he released a publication on post-war organ building in the northern region of The Netherlands (‘Orgelbouw na 1945 in Friese kerken’).


Stef Tuinstra (1954) studied organ, piano, harpsichord and trombone at the Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen. He had his organ classes with Wim van Beek. Tuinstra received a Master degree graduating summa cum laude. He also earned degrees in church music and choir conducting. In 1979 he was awarded the Prix d’ Excellence for organ and a year later he won the choral award for his performance on the famous Hinsz organ in Bolsward, in the National Improvisation Competition. In 1986 he was decorated on the occasion of the international Harpsichord Competition in Brugge.

Tuinstra was a choir- and orchestra conductor for several years. He currently holds a position of organist of the magnificent baroque organ in the Martinikerk, the Timpe organ in the Nieuwe Kerk in Groningen and the mean-toned Faber organ in the small town of Zeerijp. He is considered an expert in the art of improvisation, playing all historic styles, from the Renaissance to the 21th century. As a concert organist he has performed in Europe, Japan and the USA, giving recitals, lectures and masterclasses. He is a teacher of organ, harpsichord, piano, church music, improvisation, accompaniment of congregational singing and organ building.

His recordings appeared on several albums and earned excellent critiques worldwide. One of his own productions, the complete works of Georg Böhm (a 3-cd album by Document), was received with favorable press reviews, praising the organist for establishing a new standard of interpretation of 17th and 18th century North German organ music.

As an international organ (building) consultant, Tuinstra has been involved in the restoration and construction of historical organs in the Netherlands and abroad and as such he has contributed to more than 150 projects so far. He is the author of several publications on organ building and performance practice. For more information see his website


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