A new teaching organ for the HfMDK

Rieger-Chef Wendelin Eberle präsentiert Entwürfe für die neue Orgel.
Wendelin Eberle, Geschäftsleiter der Orgelbaufirma Rieger, stellt die Pläne für die neue Unterrichtsorgel vor.(Foto: Laura Saxler)

With the generous support of the Aventis Foundation and the Crespo Foundation, a project at the HfMDK that has been in intensive preparation for several years is becoming a reality: the renowned Austrian organ building company Rieger is building a new, contemporary and high-quality teaching organ for the HfMDK. This investment in study equipment will significantly improve the quality of organ and church music education at the university. The organ should be ready by October 25, 2024.

An excellent boost for church music training

The new organ will primarily be used for lessons and independent study. Even before moving into the planned new building, the university is thus strengthening the conditions for excellent artistic training in the field of church music and organ. The department of church music studies has been secured in the long term with the subsequent appointment of three new professorships since 2015.

In many places in our society, church music takes on the function of a basic musical offering, especially outside the cities with their differentiated cultural events. It enables aesthetic experiences with music, opens up a wide range of regional opportunities for participation in instrumental and choral ensembles and provides a community-building framework for existential life moments such as birth, marriage and death. Many church musicians today perform at an outstanding instrumental and conducting level.

The organ as an instrumental subject, which is central to church music education, ties in with Christian and Jewish musical traditions, especially in Frankfurt, and also incorporates the musical-historical development of the organ outside of religious contexts: in the concert hall, later in the cinema of the silent film era or as an electronic instrument in popular music.

» Thanks to outstanding civic commitment in Frankfurt, in this case from two art-loving foundations, the HfMDK can finally bring the 21st century into the university's organ facilities. An organ is long awaited which, in addition to its technically up-to-date possibilities, also offers the prerequisites for organ music of the Romantic and Classical Modern periods. I look forward to accompanying and following the development of this instrument together with the Rieger company and invite everyone to participate. «Prof. Carsten Wiebusch (organ), Vice President for Studies, Teaching and Career Development
Sitzung des HfMDK-Präsidiums: Im Bild zu sehen ist Vizepräsident Prof. Carsten Wiebusch

Sustainable expansion for the organ city of Frankfurt

Frankfurt is a city with many organs, but few meet the requirements of a university education. We are now beginning to close this gap in education with the new organ for the HfMDK. The purchase of the new teaching organ is sustainable, as the organ is expected to have a minimum service life of 50 years. The fact that the new organ can also be relocated to the planned new HfMDK building was part of the requirements for its construction.

Following an invitation to tender in accordance with public procurement law, the review of various offers from internationally renowned organ building companies and intensive negotiations with all applicants, the Rieger company was awarded the contract to build the new teaching organ - one of the leading organ building companies of our time. Its most important new construction projects include the organs of St. Martin Kassel, St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Mainz Cathedral, the Music Center Helsinki and the Vienna Musikverein. Rieger guarantees a very high level of production on site - practically all (countless) individual parts of the organ are developed and manufactured within the company itself.

» People continue to be enthusiastic about singing and making music in church contexts. That is why we are strengthening training in church music and bringing it back to our university building. We are building a new organ. Aventis Foundation and Crespo Foundation are generously supporting us. Thank you very much! With the new organ, we will be able to modernize our training and promote networking with other training areas. «Prof. Elmar Fulda, President of the HfMDK Frankfurt
Portrait von Prof. Elmar Fulda, Präsident der HfMDK Frankfurt, im Foyer der Hochschule.

Timetable for the construction of the organ

  • January/February 2024: detailed planning of the organ
  • then start of work in the workshop in Schwarzach/Vorarlberg
  • Mid-July 2024: completion of the work, (partial) assembly of the organ in the workshop
  • 19. August 2024: start of assembly at the HfMDK
  • 23. September 2024: Start of voicing
  • 25. October 2024: Completion

Read more