The Cathedral campus boasts six organs. The largest of them, The Great Organ, was built by the Ernest M. Skinner Company in 1910 as Op. 150, and rebuilt and enlarged by G. Donald Harrison of Aeolian-Skinner in 1954 as Op. 150-A. After a devastating fire in 2001, the Great Organ was painstakingly restored by Quimby Pipe Organs of Warrensburgh, Missouri under the supervision of Douglass Hunt, Organ Curator of the Cathedral.
The Great Organ is widely considered to be the masterpiece of American pipe organ building and is an acclaimed national treasure. It is a four manual and pedal, seven division, electro-pneumatic action instrument of 151 ranks and 8,514 pipes. The Great Organ has several extraordinary features, including the world famous State Trumpet above the Cathedral's West End, one of the most powerful organ stops in the world. For a complete description of The Great Organ's exquisitely detailed architecture, please click here.
Watch Associate Music Director Raymond Nagem's recording debut at the Great Organ in the video below:
Great Organ: Midday Monday
As part of the Great Music in a Great Space program, Cathedral organists provide a 30-minute break for mind, body and spirit on Mondays at 1 pm with an entertaining and informative demonstration of the Cathedral’s unparalleled Great Organ.
Additional Organs on the Close
Smaller Aeolian-Skinner organs in the Chapels of St. Ansgar (1956) and St. James (1961) are regularly played for the more intimate services held in these spaces, including weddings and funerals.
The Flentrop portative organ was gifted by Carnegie Hall to the cathedral in 2012. It was previously a gift from the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam on the occasion of Carnegie Hall’s centennial.
The Cathedral’s Synod Hall, located on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 110th Street, houses a 1913 E. M. Skinner organ – one of the earliest Skinner organs in completely unaltered condition. However, this instrument is currently unplayable until it can be restored.
To learn about the many organ demonstrations and recitals offered throughout the year, browse the Great Music in a Great Space section.
Recordings at the Great Organ
Various artists have made recordings at the Cathedral's Great Organ. For information, click on the names below.
To learn more about and purchase a copy of From Ashes to Glory: the Great Organ, Great Artists Series 2009 - 2010, please click here.