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. Until they are cleaned, we are blessed to have use of the finest electronic organ 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 for at least the next year. As more information regarding the cleaning of the Great Organ becomes available, we will be posting it here!
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.
Monday Organ Demonstrations
Note: Monday Organ Demonstrations are currently postponed until further notice.
As part of the Great Music in a Great Space program, Cathedral organists provide a break for mind, body and spirit on Mondays at 1 pm with an entertaining and informative demonstration of the Cathedral’s unparalleled Great Organ.
Raymond Nagem, 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.