"A very great artist in every way" -
JAN OVERDUIN has distinguished himself as a performer
with a combination of technical virtuosity and musical sensitivity.
"Overduin's impeccable technique and imaginative improvisation
provided a scintillating afternoon of music" - Dürichen, K-W
"Playing of the highest standard" - Siskind, The
"Brilliantly virtuosic ... This recital (London, Festival
Hall) was one of the highlights of the season" - Musical Opinion
Beginning musical studies in his native Holland, JAN
OVERDUIN debuted at the age of fourteen in St. Thomas, Ontario. He
earned the Master of Music degree (with honours) in organ performance at
the University of Western Ontario, while studying with Peter Hurford. He
was the first Canadian to successfully pass both Associateship and Fellowship
examinations of the Royal Canadian College of Organists at one sitting
(1963). A multi-award winner, JAN OVERDUIN won the Healey Willan
Prize in 1963; the International Organ Competition in London, Ontario (1967),
second prize and finals in improvisation; the Festival of Flanders International
Organ Competition in Bruges, Belgium (1970), finals; and the St. Alban's
International Or gan Competition (1973), shared main prize, finals in improvisation,
and the audience prize. He has been the recipient of several Canada Council
awards for studies abroad during the 1960's, allowing him to study with,
among others, Marie-Claire Alain, Jean Langlais and Peter Hurford.
Several composers have dedicated works to JAN OVERDUIN,
among them Jean Langlais (France), Alice Parker (U.S.A.), Barrie Cabena
(Canada) and Graham George (Canada), and he has given premieres of major
organ works by all of these and other composers.
JAN OVERDUIN has appeared in recital on the BBC,
the Belgian Radio Network, CBC (Talent Festival, Organists in Recital,
Radio Free Berlin, and Arts National), as well as on Canadian TV. He has
been featured at several RCCO Conventions. In April, 1984, he was invited
to present the Tenth Anniversary Concert for the Flentrop Organ at the
National Arts Center in Ottawa. Other venues have included Roy Thompson
Hall (Toronto), Jack Singer Concert Hall (Calgary), University of Western
Ontario, McGill University. Annually since 1983 he has toured Europe, with
highly acclaimed concerts in Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland and
Portugal. In the U.S.A. he has given recitals at the University of Buffalo,
the Cleveland Museum of Art, Muehlenberg College, Bethel College, the University
of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Penn State University, University of Alaska, Calvin
College, Valparaiso University, Elkhart MBC, and at several venues in New
York City (St. Thomas Fifth Avenue, St. Peter's) and Brooklyn. In collaboration
with Erik Schultz he has toured Taiwan, and recorded eight albums of music
for trumpet and organ. With Barrie Cabena he has given numerous organ duet
recitals in Germany and Canada, and recorded an album of Cabena's organ
works. In 1988 he recorded a CD on the historic Riepp organ in Ottobeuren,
Germany, featuring the music of Balbastre, Vivaldi, Leyding and others.
JAN OVERDUIN has been active as a choral conductor.
He founded the Niagara Chamber Choir, and conducted the Menno Singers (fifty
select voices) for eight years, and the Mennonite Mass Choir (400+ voices)
for five years.
JAN OVERDUIN was University Organist
and Professor of Organ and Church Music at Wilfrid Laurier University in
Waterloo, and conducted the WLU Chapel Choir until his retirement in 2003.
He served as Director of Music at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Kitchener
for over 12 years. Since 2001 he Director of Music at First United Church
in Waterloo, a position he held there also from 1967 to 1973. During his recent
tenure at First United, he oversaw the purchase and installation of a
mechanical-action pipe organ and organized a regular concert series.
JAN OVERDUIN improvises accompaniments to silent
movies, and is accompanist for a number of choral CDs.
JAN OVERDUIN is available for recitals (solo and
orchestral) and masterclasses focusing on improvisation and church service
playing, as well as conducting and choral technique.
Name entry in St. Thomas is Proud of ... Centennial Biographical Sketches, Mary Sanders, 1981
Name entry in the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada,University of Toronto, 1992
Kitchener-Waterloo Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, 2005