Orgelbau Kuhn

Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, 2014


Organ built by:
Ferdinand Molzer, Wien, 1955

Windchests: cone chests
Key action: electro-pneumatic
Stop action: electro-pneumatic

Voicing: Thierry Pécaut

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf/Schweiz

portrait number 801610

Wien II/P/30
Austria, Vienna

The organ of the Vienna State Opera

On 12 March 1945, the "House on the Ring" was almost entirely destroyed by the bombs and subsequent fire. The Walcker organ, too, which had served in numerous performances since 1869, also became a victim of the flames.

When the building of the Vienna State Opera was restored or rebuilt, the desire made itself felt to have a new organ, too. This was constructed by organ builder Ferdinand Molzer on the basis of a specification by Franz Schütz, in the ballet hall of the opera house on the sixth floor. Together with a new auditorium, and modernised technology, the Opera House re-opened on 5 November 1955. The Vienna State Opera is one of the few opera houses in the world to possess such a large pipe organ. The sound of the organ is relayed to the auditorium as required. Originally, there was a mobile console in the orchestra pit, but it was removed to save space. The organ is now played in the organ hall.

Molzer organs became well-known, particularly through the firm's barrel organs. So-called "Werkel" have been preserved up to the present day (e.g. Pony Carousel organ in the Vienna Prater). Ferdinand Molzer Junior (1886-1970) took over his father's workshop upon completing his training with Franz Joseph Swoboda and a period with Hofmann & Cerny. During his management, about 40 church organs were built with electro pneumatic key action, of which however only a few still survive.

The organ in the State Opera has not undergone any alterations worth mentioning. Dirt, wear and tear, and a power installation that did not conform to modern standards, all led to the desire to restore the organ completely. We carried out this work in the 2014 summer break. At that time, it was the youngest organ that Kuhn had ever restored.

Translation: RS 2015
 © Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd   Update 29.01.2018    info©