Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New York’s First French-built Organ

Despite a few electro-mechanical innovations added during the past century, the organ (called by some the “pipe organ”) is essentially a handmade instrument consisting almost entirely of natural materials fabricated with techniques practiced for centuries. It is expensive to build and install, and also expensive to maintain.

When The Church of the Ascension’s Holtkamp organ, installed in 1967, began to seriously deteriorate after 40 years of service, the church began to plan for its replacement. Dennis Keene, the church’s organist since 1981, embarked on a series of visits to organs in the U. S. and Europe in order to choose a builder who could, in Keene’s words, “construct for Ascension an instrument of the absolutely highest artistic quality which could serve as broad a range of repertory as possible.”  Read more.