2010 Auckland Organ

three choirs combine: the Graduate Choir NZ, Viva Voce and Musica Sacra, to mark the opening of the 2010 organ
three choirs combine: the Graduate Choir NZ, Viva Voce and Musica Sacra, to mark the opening of the 2010 organ
thirty expressions of interest come from international organ builders − the tender process leads to Orgelbau Klais of Germany headed by 40 year old Philipp Klais (centre)
thirty expressions of interest come from international organ builders − the tender process leads to Orgelbau Klais of Germany headed by 40 year old Philipp Klais (centre)
the Organ Trust raises the balance with its ‘Adopt-a-Pipe’ Scheme
the Organ Trust raises the balance with its ‘Adopt-a-Pipe’ Scheme
this book in the Town Hall lists the donors
this book in the Town Hall lists the donors
each donor receives a certificate
each donor receives a certificate
January 2008 — the 1970 organ is dismantled
January 2008 — the 1970 organ is dismantled
along with bellows
along with bellows
windchests
windchests
everything else is carefully packed
everything else is carefully packed
behind the façade the organ loft is empty!
behind the façade the organ loft is empty!
home of Orgelbau Klais
home of Orgelbau Klais
master organ builder Stefan Hilgendorf will lead the Auckland project team
master organ builder Stefan Hilgendorf will lead the Auckland project team
the paper working drawings  would stretch the length of a football field
the paper working drawings would stretch the length of a football field
the organ will be three storeys high, reaching to the ceiling of the Town Hall
the organ will be three storeys high, reaching to the ceiling of the Town Hall
timber for the organ’s building frame is laid out
timber for the organ’s building frame is laid out
wind chests contain the mechanisms that let the pipes ‘speak’
wind chests contain the mechanisms that let the pipes ‘speak’
electrical solenoids are part of the organ’s ‘action’
electrical solenoids are part of the organ’s ‘action’
shutters to ‘swell’ the sound
shutters to ‘swell’ the sound
melted lead and tin alloy is laid in sheets
melted lead and tin alloy is laid in sheets
the birth of a pipe
the birth of a pipe
some pipes are made from wood
some pipes are made from wood
the voicer gives each pipe its ‘speech’ – consultant Ian Bell (right) looks on
the voicer gives each pipe its ‘speech’ – consultant Ian Bell (right) looks on
wooden pipes of the Pūkāea – another Māori sound
wooden pipes of the Pūkāea – another Māori sound
AREKATERA MAIHI is to carve the Pūkāea pipes
AREKATERA MAIHI is to carve the Pūkāea pipes
The completed carving of the Pūkāea
The completed carving of the Pūkāea
the organ’s 1911 façade is restored
the organ’s 1911 façade is restored
January 2009 – the organ arrives from Bonn
January 2009 – the organ arrives from Bonn
its thousands of parts are laid out in the Town Hall
its thousands of parts are laid out in the Town Hall
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the largest new pipe is squeezed in
the largest new pipe is squeezed in
300 metres of wooden wind trunking is cut to size
300 metres of wooden wind trunking is cut to size
bellows are adjusted
bellows are adjusted
the new console  fits snugly in the  1911 space
the new console fits snugly in the 1911 space
THE COMPLEX WIRING OF THE STOPS AND THE KEYBOARDS ENSURES THE RIGHT TONE AT THE RIGHT PITCH IS SOUNDED
THE COMPLEX WIRING OF THE STOPS AND THE KEYBOARDS ENSURES THE RIGHT TONE AT THE RIGHT PITCH IS SOUNDED
more than 4000 pipes are unloaded from containers and laid out
more than 4000 pipes are unloaded from containers and laid out
voicer Markus Linden spends three months adjusting the sound of the 5,291 pipes to perfection
voicer Markus Linden spends three months adjusting the sound of the 5,291 pipes to perfection
Philipp Klais hands the new 40 tonne organ to Auckland City following two years of construction and 27,000 hours of work – on time and on budget
Philipp Klais hands the new 40 tonne organ to Auckland City following two years of construction and 27,000 hours of work – on time and on budget
the Town Hall is again filled to overflowing
the Town Hall is again filled to overflowing
the organ is heard alone, with choirs, with orchestra and with audience
the organ is heard alone, with choirs, with orchestra and with audience
the Splendour of the Auckland Town Hall Organ has returned
the Splendour of the Auckland Town Hall Organ has returned

By the 1990s it became clear the 1970 organ could not fulfil its role as a town hall organ. It was under-powered and lacked versatility. The hall had been restored to its Edwardian grandeur in 1997, but not the organ.

The growing dissatisfaction of musicians prompted City Organist Dr John Wells to promote complete restoration. ‘Restore the Splendour’ was the catch cry. With the formation of the Auckland Town Hall Organ Trust in 2004 and the appointment of international consultant Ian Bell of London the goal was in sight.

An international tendering process led to a contract being signed between Auckland City Council and one of Germany’s largest organ-building companies, Orgelbau Klais of Bonn. The city would provide $3 million of the $3.5 million required and the balance would come from public subscription through the Trust’s ‘adopt-a-pipe’ scheme.

With so little of the original to work with, Klais opted to build a new organ incorporating what was salvageable from the 1911 instrument. It would be a third larger than the original and in every way designed as an international instrument of the twenty first century. Uniquely it would have two stops based on Māori instruments – the kōauau (flute) and pūkāea (horn). All through, the spirit of the 1911 instrument would be captured using similar pipe scales and wind pressures to ensure the Town Hall was filled with sound.

The new organ was inaugurated on 21 March 2010. Birmingham City Organist, Thomas Trotter, who performed during the opening celebrations declared, “This organ ranks with the finest town hall organs anywhere in the world”.