March 2 - April 23
1997 Opening events
May 13-14 Rehearsals
May 15, 1997 Opening Night
May 16, 1997 Concerts for schools
May 16-17, 1997
Some past concerts 1997-2010
1999 2nd International Organ Series
2000 Bach's Back
2001 Canterbury Sesquicentenary Music Festival
2001 Jacques' Back!
2002 International Organ Series
2003 Pictures at an Exhibition
2010 The Last concert
Extending the organ
Extension slideshow 1
Extension slideshow 2
Extension slideshow 3
Extension slideshow 4
Extension slideshow 5
Finishing the job
The final touches
Visit - Sept 8th, 2010
First visit - May 2011
Second visit, September, 2011
Third visit, with Rieger CEO
January 2014 visit
2019 Grand Re-Opening
CDs recorded on the Christchurch Town Hall organ
Canterbury earthquakes links
Damage to organs in the Canterbury area
Rebuilding a city
Remember: these images are mainly video frame grabs, hence the low resolution. But they were the best we could do, given the technology of the day and time restraints of daily uploads (often long after midnight).
Pipes carefully crated and ready to unload
Work on the organ began in the small Austrian town of Schwarzach about three years ago, but fund-raising for the approximate $1.2million has been going for several decades.
Many of the 3372 pipes will remain in their packing crates until the organ case is erected, to protect them from dust.
Four craftsmen from the Austrian firm of Rieger Orgelbau have been installing the organ since the beginning of 1997 and already the massive frame is in place at the front of the auditorium.
The front of the organ case starts to take shape as the Principal pipes are put in place.
The player's feet also operate these black pedals. The crescendo pedal makes the sound gradually louder.
Quick changes in sound can be made using these toe pistons when the hands are busy.
Four of the large wooden pedal pipes were the first to be placed in position
The player's feet on the pedal keys will eventually operate these tracker rods.
The tracker rods
A view behind the console shows the keys are connected to the pipes by mechanical action.
Thomas and Georg, two of the four organ builders from the Rieger firm, at work inside the organ case
Georg polishes one of the metal pipes ready for hoisting into the front of the case, which is made from Austrian spruce and maple
The small figure gives an idea of the size of the instrument
All handling of the metal pipes is done with extreme care, using gloves
Looking through the principal pipes out to the auditorium
The underside of the concave and radiating pedalboard which is waiting to be positioned
Non-sounding pipes visible (on the left) are used to complete the facade display
Wooden resonators of pedal pipes at the back of the organ
This red and gold gridwork will serve as decoration for the facade
Looking out to the auditorium
Inside the organ case
The facade (front pipework) is now complete
Framework behind the console
Back of the stop jambs, protected by metal encasings
Rollerboards transfer the motion sideways from the keyboard width to the chest width
Aside view of the right of the organ case
Dominik looks into the case from door beside the console
V iew upwards of the left side of the facade
Bricks on the reservoirs regulate the wind pressure
Georg works on the electrical componentry in the blower room
Wind trunking conveys wind from the bellows to the wind chests
Armin Schwendinger (left) with Martin Setchell
Georg works on the rollerboards behind the console
Thomas Hayden works on the rollerboards in the great case while below him. . .
Scaffolding is now removed from the front
Thomas's legs viewed from the pedal department
Holes in the windchest where pipes will eventually go
Seating will be re-installed in front of the orga
Georg balances on narrow beams while working on the rollerboards
Three manuals (keyboards) are connected by mechanical (tracker) action to the divisions of the organ
Principal pipes - the side the audience doesn't see
Modern technology helps the organist, with sequencer systems and video monitoring
Flexible tubing connects the front pipes to the wind chests
Not Swiss cheese, but the top of one of the wind chests before the pipes are positioned
Dominik installs some of the flexible tubing in the corner of the Great division
While Thomas sits at the console testing the action, he uses two-way radio to...
...Keep in touch with Georg inside the case, who adjusts the tracker action where necessary
Gradually the ranks are added. Here the Great division takes shape
It is becoming a tight squeeze now behind the console
A corner of the organ case