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Arp Schnitger organ, Clausthal Zellerfeld, model for Cornell's new Baroque organ


Cornell’s collection of organs is wide-ranging and of high quality. The largest organ on campus is the eclectic American classic Aeolian Skinner (1940) located in Sage Chapel. Also in Sage Chapel is a historic Neapolitan organ, built by Augustinus Vicedomini in 1746. A short walk away in the music department’s small concert hall, Barnes Hall, is a central German chamber organ of one manual with pedal, a gift of the Dallas Morse Coors foundation, built at the Gothenburg Organ Art Center in 2003. The centerpiece of the Cornell collection, The Cornell Baroque Organ, is a German baroque organ of two manuals and pedal housed in Anabel Taylor Chapel.


The Cornell Baroque Organ

A New Organ for Anabel Taylor Chapel

The Cornell Baroque Organ reconstructs the tonal design of the celebrated instrument at the Charlottenburg-Schlosskapelle built in the first decade of the 18th century in Berlin by Arp Schnitger, one of history’s greatest organ builders. The instrument’s layout and visual design are based on Schnitger’s breathtaking organ case at Clausthal-Zellerfeld in central Germany. Read more.

Aeolian-Skinner Organ (Sage)

The largest organ on campus is the eclectic American classic Aeolian Skinner (1940) located in the elaborately decorated 19th-century Sage Chapel, at the center of the campus. Built under the direction of G. Donald Harrison, this organ is a classic example of Harrison’s tonal thinking in 1940. It incorporates advanced neo-Baroque elements but also includes a number of ranks re-used from earlier instruments. Read more.

18th-Century Neapolitan Organ (Sage)

This is an original 18th-century Italian organ, built in Naples in 1746 by Augustinus Vicedomini. Restoration work was carried out in several phases, initially by Formentelli, and subsequently by Greg Harrold (Los Angeles) and Munetaka Yokota (GOArt). The instrument has a very lively character, and is tuned in quarter comma meantone. Read more.

The Dallas Morse Coors Chamber Organ (Barnes)

This classic 18th-century style German chamber organ, with one manual and pedal, and five ranks (with divided keyboard) was built at the Gothenburg Organ Art Center in 2003. It is designed to fulfill numerous functions, from continuo accompaniment in both instrumental and vocal music, to solo recitals and the performance of the 18th-century organ concerto repertoire. The organ also serves as a practice instrument of the highest quality for organ students on campus. Read more.

Original Sage Chapel Organ (history)

Cornell, from its inception, has played a vital role in sustaining the legacy of the organ. The university’s first president, Andrew Dickson White, was deeply committed to nurturing the organ’s role as the embodiment of musical and intellectual culture. An avid amateur organist with, as he admitted, an “old passion for the ‘king of instruments’” White made it his personal mission to acquire two very significant organs for Cornell – neither of which, sadly, has survived.


A.D White Organ (history)

In 1913, with the completion of Bailey Hall, the eighty-year-old Andrew D. White (President Emeritus) took it upon himself once again to promote organ music at Cornell. In search of a donor who would fund a superb recital instrument suited to this large auditorium, he wrote directly to his friend and fellow trustee Andrew Carnegie.