Organ Festival and Conference All-Bach Concert

8:30 p.m. Jacques van Oortmerssen, professor of organ at the Amsterdam Conservatory, performs an all-J. S. Bach program at Anabel Taylor Chapel. All festival events are free and open to the public, but concerts require tickets. Please call the music department (607-255-4097) to reserve.

Sustainable Wood

Most of the organ’s wood is quarter-sawn domestic white oak, from the Ohio River Valley. But Chris Lowe, case builder, couldn’t find quarter sawn white oak domestically that was long enough for the 18-foot long petal tower frames or for the main big timbers by the keyboard. He finally found the right oak from a … Continue reading “Sustainable Wood”

Organ Debuts to Lavish Praise

Audience members heaped lavish praise on Cornell’s new baroque organ at its debut public performances on November 21, using words like “phenomenal” and “fantastic” to describe the experience. Hedvig Lockwood, a local resident, called the concert “thrilling,” adding, “I found things happening in my spine.” “It’s a fantastically exciting organ and three brilliant organists. It … Continue reading “Organ Debuts to Lavish Praise”

CU Music Unveils Organ

Cornell’s new baroque organ will be unveiled on Sunday, November 21, with its first public performances, at 3 PM and 5:30 PM in Anabel Taylor Chapel. (Note that all tickets for both concerts have now been given out; no more tickets are available.) The concerts open with university organists Annette Richards and David Yearsley playing … Continue reading “CU Music Unveils Organ”

History Comes Alive

“When I first heard Cornell’s new baroque organ played, I got goose bumps because history really does come alive in this extraordinary project,” writes Leslie A. Adelson, Professor of German Studies and Director of the Institute for German Cultural Studies at Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences. “For the study of German culture it offers … Continue reading “History Comes Alive”

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 … Continue reading “Why Cornell?”

Voicing the Organ

Voicing the organ–giving each pipe the correct volume and timbre and ensuring that it responds correctly to the pressure and speed of the performer’s touch–will take about half a year, says Munetaka Yokota, organ designer, builder, and pipe voicer. Although Yokota took into account the acoustics of Anabel Taylor Chapel when he designed the organ, … Continue reading “Voicing the Organ”

Story Behind the Tonal Design

The Cornell organists wanted to build an instrument appropriate to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, but also to the great repertoire of older music that he had encountered during his youth. A difficult request, says designer Munetaka Yokota, because Bach had a strong connection to organs for most of his life. So you could … Continue reading “Story Behind the Tonal Design”

How the Pieces Came Together

Around the same time in 2001 that Annette Richards, university organist, began thinking about a baroque organ for Cornell, the Goteborg Organ Art Center (GOArt) at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, celebrated the first results of their recently-founded organ research workshop with the completion of a large 17th-century north German-style organ. “We began to hatch … Continue reading “How the Pieces Came Together”

Building a Case

The organ case was created by local cabinet maker Christopher Lowe, who’d never before created anything of this magnitude. “It was a challenge just to get my mind around the scale of it at first,” says Lowe. “But I realized there was nothing that I didn’t know how to do, I just had to be … Continue reading “Building a Case”