Note: On April 14, 2019, Palm Sunday, a minor fire in our crypt resulted in smoke and detritus in the Cathedral, which has temporarily silenced our pipe organs. While they are being cleaned, we are blessed to have use of one of the finest electronic organs available. The instrument, by Walker Technical of Pennsylvania, has a digitally sampled Æolian-Skinner sound palette and a highly evolved and specific audio support system. We will be using this Walker organ until late 2023, when cleaning of the Great Organ is expected to finish.
The Cathedral campus boasts six organs. The largest of them, The Great Organ, was built by the Ernest M. Skinner Company in 1910 as Op. 150, and rebuilt and enlarged by G. Donald Harrison of Aeolian-Skinner in 1954 as Op. 150-A. After a devastating fire in 2001, the Great Organ was painstakingly restored by Quimby Pipe Organs of Warrensburgh, Missouri under the supervision of Douglass Hunt, Organ Curator of the Cathedral.
The Great Organ is widely considered to be the masterpiece of American pipe organ building and is an acclaimed national treasure. It is a four manual and pedal, seven division, electro-pneumatic action instrument of 151 ranks and 8,514 pipes. The Great Organ has several extraordinary features, including the world famous State Trumpet above the Cathedral's West End, one of the most powerful organ stops in the world.
Sunday Post-Evensong Recitals
Following Choral Evensong on select Sundays in the fall and spring, we have the privilege of hosting distinguished organists from around the world in performance. These 5 pm recitals are free to the public and 45 minutes in length.
FALL 2022 (all recitals at 5 pm)
October 16: Kent Tritle
October 23: Clara Gerdes
October 30: Felix Hell
November 6: Stephen Price
SPRING 2023 (all recitals at 5 pm)
January 29: David Briggs
February 5: Amelie Held
February 12: Samuel Kuffuor-Afriyie
February 19: Manuel Piazza
February 26: Daniel Ficarri
March 5: Emma Whitten
March 12: Ádám Tabajdi
March 19: Jackson Borges
March 26: Alexander Pattavina
April 16: Kent Tritle
Wednesday Organ Demonstrations
Beginning in late 2023, our Cathedral Organists will offer entertaining and informative demonstrations of our unparalleled Great Organ on Wednesdays at 2 pm, following the Cathedral Highlights Tour. As cleaning of our Great Organ nears completion, stay tuned for more information on our organ demonstration schedule and tickets!
Raymond Nagem, Former Associate Director of Music, Demonstrates the Great Organ
Additional Organs on the Close
Smaller Aeolian-Skinner organs in the Chapels of St. Ansgar (1956) and St. James (1961) are regularly played for the more intimate services held in these spaces, including weddings and funerals.
The Flentrop portative organ was gifted by Carnegie Hall to the cathedral in 2012. It was previously a gift from the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam on the occasion of Carnegie Hall’s centennial.
The Cathedral’s Synod Hall, located on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 110th Street, houses a 1913 E. M. Skinner organ – one of the earliest Skinner organs in completely unaltered condition. However, this instrument is currently unplayable until it can be restored.