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City Hall organ ‘pipes up’ in special rededication concert

01 August, 2014

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk will today hear the sound of the City Hall Father Willis organ for the first time since it was removed in 2010 as part of City Hall’s $215 million refurbishment.

The Lord Mayor said the preview came ahead of a special City Hall organ rededication concert ‘Pulling Out All Stops’ on Sunday, 10 August from 11.30am – 2pm (doors opening at 11am).

Cr Quirk said that the free public concert was about celebrating the city’s organ and appreciating the time and effort that had gone into restoring it to the best condition possible.

“City Hall really is the heart of Brisbane, and I think the people will agree that this has been a very successful organ transplant,” Cr Quirk said.

“There are no two identical pipe organs in the world; each one sounds and looks different, and our Father Willis organ is regarded as one of the best pipe organs in Australia.

“The sound of each of the 4,391 individual pipes was recorded before removing it from City Hall in 2010, to make sure it would sound exactly as the day it was removed from City Hall.

“The organ was tuned by Brisbane-based organ builder and tuner Simon Pierce, who has studied organs abroad and worked with the instruments for many years.

“The organ now not only looks fantastic, but sounds the part too, recently passing its final inspection by Council’s appointed organ consultant - John Maidment, Chairman of the Organ Historical Trust of Australia.

“I am honoured to rededicate this piece of Brisbane’s history in top condition back to the people to enjoy at various community events into the future.”

Cr Quirk said organists Thomas Heyward and Andrej Kouznetsov would be performing at the rededication concert, with a panel of organists to be appointed to play it into the future.

Cr Quirk said the organ restoration included various specialist works such as French polishing, cabinet making, leatherwork, electrical wiring and computer programming.

“We have taken great pains to deliver a modern City Hall without compromising its heritage value, and the City Hall organ show pipes have been repainted from silver to their original 1930 gold colour in line with this,” Cr Quirk said.

“The original organ was built in 1891-92 by Henry Willis & Sons, Camden Town, London for the Brisbane Exhibition Concert Hall, but was relocated, enlarged and modernised for Brisbane’s new City Hall; which opened in 1930.”

Bookings for the ‘Pulling Out All Stops’ concert are essential – contact QTIX on 136 246.
[Ends] AUGUST 1, 2014



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