Austria, Lower Austria
Pfarrkirche St. Georg

© pictures Orgelbau Kuhn AG, Männedorf/Schweiz

The Johann Kauffmann organ in the parish church of St. George, Zöbern

In 1877 Johann Marcell Kauffmann I (1849-1906) founded the organ workshop in Vienna, which existed for more than four generations. His son, Johann Kauffmann II (1883-1953) was the second generation to head the firm of organ builders. Under his management, too, the organ for Zöbern was installed. The firm was subsequently taken over by Johann Marcellinus Kauffmann III (1910-1965) of the third generation. During his period, among other things the new organs (chancel and main organs) were built for St. Stephen's Cathedral ("Stephansdom") in Vienna. His eldest son, Johann Heinz Kauffmann IV (1937-1995), took over the firm, but was unable to switch the business over to the mechanical slider chest organs that were now back in demand. With Johann Heinz ended the dynasty of the once successful organ building family.

In 1930, when the preceding organ had developed too many faults, the present organ was built. The dedication ceremony was held on 8 June, with H.H.P. Zyprian Seidl, Salvatorian in Vienna, officiating. It cost 12,000 Austrian shillings. In 1954 and 1985 the organ was overhauled by the Kauffmann firm. Remarkably, the organ was already listed for preservation by Prof. Karl Schütz in 1985. Further makeshift repairs followed in 2007 and 2011. In December 2017 the organ failed completely.

After our appraisal and submission of an offer in May 2018, restoration rapidly got under way. It proved possible to complete the restoration as early as the beginning of December.

Over the course of time there had been no major conversions, so that in the main only worn parts were replaced (membranes, corroded wire etc.). Some pipes in the third rank were missing in the Mixture. They were reconstructed in the appropriate manner. Attacks by worm and mould were treated for lasting effect.

Thus an "honest" organ was successfully preserved for the future as an example of this organ building tradition.

Translation: RS 2019