When it was installed in 1890, Sydney Town Hall’s Grand Organ was the largest in the world and described as the ‘finest organ ever built by an English organ builder’. Today, it continues to enthral organ lovers and audiences.
Designs for town halls in the 19th century generally included large public halls where citizens of towns and cities could gather for a wide variety of events. Many were equipped with imposing organs which had the capacity to fill large spaces with sound and the flexibility to adapt to suit all tastes and musical genres. Sydney’s aldermen were determined to ensure Sydney had not only the best, but the grandest money could buy.read more
The splendid tone of the Organ thrilled concert goers for decades and organists applauded its mechanical attributes. However age began to weary the Grand Organ, leaving music lovers dissatisfied with its performance. By the 1960s, the tone of the organ was becoming tired and unfashionable and it attracted criticism for its ‘noisy pipes, noisy action and a curious lack-lustre tone’, one critic going so far as to describe it as a ‘monstrous bag of wind’.read more