The concert hall organ The queen of instruments

The organ is called "the queen of instruments" and for a good reason: no other acoustic instrument is so varied in sound and dynamics, from the weakest, solitary tone to massive chords that make it vibrate in floors and walls. It will for sure do so in the Great Hall in Gothenburg Concert Hall when the sound from the over 9000 organ pipes fills the room.

All this thanks to the cooperation between the real estate company HigabGöteborg international organ academy, and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra which makes it possible for us to finally experience a world-class concert hall organ, built by Rieger Orgelbau in Austria. The instrument is so big that some of the organ pipes have been built in under the audience in the salon – when you sit on the parquet you feel the vibrations from the bass pipes!

Concerts with the organ
The Mighty Sound of Organ and Orchestra
19, 20 Oct

Experience the sounds of the magnificent Concert Hall organ with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, conductor Christoph Eschenbach and organist Christian Schmitt.

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Sing the praises of the organ, Gothenburg Girls Choir!
23 Oct 11.00

Celebrate the first anniversary of the magnificent concert hall organ together with Göteborgs Flickkör, Birgitta Mannerström-Molin conductor and Magnus Kjellson organist!

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Sing the praises of the organ, Bergaton!
23 Oct 13.00

Celebrate the first anniversary of the magnificent concert hall organ together with the choir Bergaton, Annika Lagerqvist conductor and Samuel Eriksson organist!

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Sing the praises of the organ, Cantastoria!
23 Oct 15.00

Celebrate the first anniversary of the magnificent concert hall organ together with the choir Cantastoria and Samuel Johansson organist!

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Sing the praises of the organ, Vox Luna!
23 Oct 17.00

Celebrate the first anniversary of the magnificent concert hall organ together with the choir Vox Luna and children's choirs under the leadership of Miriam Gindemo, Ewa Svensson, Kristin Lidholm and Annette Jacobsson.

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Sing the praises of the organ, Gothenburg Symphony Vocal Ensemble!
23 Oct 19.00

Celebrate the first anniversary of the magnificent concert hall organ together with Gothenburg Symphony Vocal Ensemble!

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Memorial Concert on All Saints’ Day
5 Nov 12.30

The magnificent Concert Hall organ brings us together to the tones of Bach, Caccini and Bruckner, with organist Gunnar Idenstam.

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Romantic Rarities
3 Dec 12.30

A programme rich in variety as the magnificent Concert Hall organ brings Grande Pièce Symphonique to life, with organist Mikael Wahlin at the keys.

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Yoga Concert: Christmas
4 Dec 11.00

A beautiful yoga session with Yoga Lene to music played live at the new concert hall organ. The theme of this session is christmas - finding peace and breath when the Christmas stress starts, and the importance of always allowing rest to take place.

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Passacaglia
18 Mar 12.30

Captivating organ effects when music by Bach meets works by Frank Martin, among others, with organist Bine Bryndorf on the irresistible Concert Hall organ.

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Spring Organ
20 May 12.30

Magnificent, bright and wonderful tones in a unique meeting between organist Karin Nelson and singer and fiddler Lena Willemark.

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More than 9000 organ pipes

The concert hall organ is inspired by the French, romantic organ school with sounds that can imitate the orchestra’s many instruments and in combinations that one could only dream of. Here are traditional parts such as flute and bassoon but also something new like saxophone. Join the tour inside the fascinating instrument together with Hans Davidsson from Göteborg International Organ Academy!

After more than five years of planning and three years of construction, the gigantic instrument is now in place in the Great Hall with its more than 9000 organ pipes. For ten days, 15-24 october 2021, the new organ was inaugurated with royal visit, international soloists, premières, organ concerts with orchestra, organ marathon with participants from Västra Götaland’s 49 municipalities and live broadcasts on GSOplay.


The making of the organ

The organ in Gothenburg Concert Hall is built by Rieger Orgelbau in Austria, an extremely complex work that has been going on for many years. Manufacture unites woodwork, metalwork, aural knowledge, drawing, electronics, work with different materials such as leather, felt, and synthetic materials, as well as assembly work across the world.

The project began 2017 with a thorough prestudy, performed by a team of international organ experts, employed by Higab through the Gothenburg International Organ Academy. This group have assisted the organ builders, property owner Higab, and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra with artistic guidance, technical advice, and quality control throughout the process.

The work to install the organ inside Gothenburg Concert hall started in the summer of 2019 and continued with ongoing efforts the upcoming years. In the summer of 2021, every minute was used to finalise the work. The remaining technical work was performed right after Midsummer, including the installation of the second, movable console. The biggest job was tuning the remaining two thirds of the organ’s over 9,000 pipes. Every day from 6.00 a.m. to midnight, pipes of different kinds were heard – principal, flute, string, mixture, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, and trombone have been tested and tuned for optimal sound and strength.

When the concert hall’s architect, Nils Einar Eriksson (1899–1978) created the Gothenburg Concert hall he had a vision of a world-class concert hall organ: an organ optimally placed right next to the orchestra, which, alongside it, would be able to form a unified tonal body. This vision is now reality, october 2021.

The order is made by the Concert Hall’s property owner Higab. The concert hall organ project is followed and supported by an international expert group, where FGIOA acts as a consultant through its subsidiary GOART AB.

The organ disposition (pdf)

The old organ

There has been an organ earlier in the Gothenburg Concert Hall. It was built in 1937 by Marcussen & Søn, but it quickly became a problem with the instrument.

One wanted a large and versatile organ, although the space behind the orchestra was too small – the organ pipes had to be mounted on two floors, which meant that the main work sounded too weak.

The electric table was sensitive. It was exchanged in the 1980s against a computerized version but also that table was hit by problems over the years, including with the electronics and it would be very costly to repair. The audience found themselves in the absence of organ sounds in the concert hall.

When the project with the new organ began, the old organ was dismantled to make room for the new instrument built exklusivley for this specific concert hall. It was an extremely complex work so as not to adversely affect the interior or acoustics of the concert hall.

More about the old organ

Organ dictionary

When you discover new topics, you often discover new words. Here are some of the words you use when describing an organ and organ music.

organist som spelar på stora scenen

To the organ dictionary

The organ project

Management

  • Sten Cranner
  • Stefan Lundqvist
  • Per-Henrik Hartmann
  • Hans Davidsson
  • Johan Nordin
  • Johan Björkman
  • Erika Strand
  • Louise Martinsson
  • Maja Johansson

Project

  • Johan Nordin
  • Johan Björkman
  • Hans Davidsson
  • Louise Martinsson
  • Erland Montgomery

Reference

  • Hans Davidsson (chair & project leader)
  • Magnus Kjellson (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra representative)
  • Bine Bryndorf
  • Hans-Ola Ericsson
  • Nathan Laube
  • Karin Nelson
  • Koos van de Linde
  • Paul Peeters
  • Joris Verdin

Rieger Orgelbau staff

Planning & design

  • Wendelin Eberle
  • Georg Pfeifer
  • Daniele Bellotto
  • Beate Meusburger

Administration

  • Julia Dörler
  • Antony Melck
  • Jörg Stübbe
  • Orgelbygge – allmänt
  • Martin Pfanner
  • Albert Moosmann
  • Manuel Egle
  • Timo Algäuer

Organ building – general

  • Martin Pfanner
  • Albert Moosmann
  • Manuel Egle
  • Timo Algäuer

Pipes

  • Andreas Aschl
  • Akbar Daulatzai
  • Johannes Pommer
  • Klaus-Jürgen Ritter
  • Harald Rosemann
  • Eveline Tollinger
  • Anja Gütler
  • Illias Ziakis
  • Elias Elbs

Case & podium

  • Jonas Ender
  • Anton Flatz
  • Anton Berchtold

Swell boxes & shutters

  • Gerhard Bilgeri
  • Simon Aschl
  • Michael Nußbaumer

Consoles

  • Daniel Brunner
  • Elias Hackenberg
  • Geraldo Nague
  • Lena Raffler
  • Anton Berchtold

Windchests

  • Olaf Sieler
  • Joonghae Kim
  • Tobias Rathbeg
  • Dana Nilson
  • Manuela Hager
  • Corina Hofer
  • Gwennin L’Haridon
  • Leonhard Ammer

Windsystem

  • Anton Zündel
  • Petro Ruano
  • Andreea Ender
  • Karl Görnitz

Action

  • Johanna Gstrein
  • Elias Hackenberg
  • Matthias Hollmann
  • Urs Knüttgen
  • Katharina Moosbrugger

Racking

  • Jonas Ender
  • Dana Nilson
  • Josua Gmeiner
  • Manuela Hager
  • Amelie Hillenbrand
  • Corina Hofer

Electrical

  • Jürgen Handstanger
  • Martin Fuchs
  • Stefan Tyrol

Wood work – general

  • Peter Hörburger
  • Anton Deppisch
  • Dietmar Hämmerle
  • Anton Zündel
  • Stefan Hoffmann
  • Maximilian Schertler
  • Marie Willatschek
  • Elias Zech

Metalwork – general

  • Hans-Günter Häfele
  • Patrick Schir

Installation

  • Andreas Aschl
  • Simon Aschl
  • Martin Behringer
  • Gerhard Bilgeri
  • Wendelin Eberle
  • Jonas Ender
  • Anton Flatz
  • Josua Gmeiner
  • Elias Hackenberg
  • Theodor Haftel
  • Joonghae Kim
  • Michael Nußbaumer
  • Daniel Orth
  • Georg Pfeifer
  • Stefan Tyrol

Voicing

  • Stephan Niebler
  • Alois Schwingshandl
  • Christian Metzler
  • Daniel Orth
  • Martin Behringer
  • Theodor Haftel
  • Franz Roth