Why Cornell?

“A great university deserves to have a really great organ,” says Annette Richards, university organist and project manager. Although Cornell had a number of organs already, it lacked an instrument of the style and scope appropriate to the music of the noted German organist composers of the 17th and 18th centuries. “There was no great vehicle for playing the music especially of Johann Sebastian Bach and his North German predecessors. So I felt it was important for us to get a new really first class world class instrument at Cornell,” says Richards.

“Cornell is an institution that fosters many kinds of scholarship, and it also has a long and very storied musical tradition,” continues Richards. “Andrew Dickson White was a big organ supporter and fan. He initiated getting an important organ for Bailey Hall when that building was built.

“And Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences has a music department where the 18th century is a real strength. It also has a fine collection of keyboard instruments already, and it made sense to build on all those strengths and that history to bring something like this here.