The organs of Paris
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organ builders

XIX-XXth century

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Muhleisen Pels-Dhondt (Herselt, Belgium). Jean-Baptiste D’Hondt founded a small organ building firm in 1892 near Brussels. In the middle of the XXth century, his firm merged with the firm of Bernard Pels, a descendant of a dynasty of organ builders (founded by Bernard Pels I in 1870), located at Alkmaar, Netherlands. Since 1987, the firm is led by Gerard Pels. He is the fourth generation of both families. After the construction of a number of new organs, the firm specialized itself towards restoration of organs from the XVIth to XXth century. He worked on the organs of Eglise du coeur eucharistique de Jésus (1947) and rebuilded the organ of Saint-Joseph-des-épinettes (2014) Rieger Jean & Edouard (??-1952) Ruche (Lyon) were organbuilders active during the first half of the XXth century. Charles Meslé (1914-2011) was voicer at this firm. He continued the firm after the death of Edouard in 1952. The firm closed in 1979. He built the organ of Chapelle des Franciscaines réparatrices de Jésus Hostie (1973). Pierre Sarelot (1930-2010) and Louis Benoist (*1931) were organ builders in Mans (Laigné-en-Belin) from 1968-1995 and were doing mainly restoration works. They worked on the organ of the Chapelle des pères Franciscains and the Eglise de L'immaculée conception . The firm was taken over by Jean-Pierre Conan (*1952) and closed in 2010. Georges Schwenkedel (1885-1958) worked first at the firm Roethinger and created later, together with Ernest Mulheisen (1897-1981), the Maison Schwenkedel. His son Curt joined the company. In 1941, Muhleisen changed to building neobaroque organs and his company was renamed into Mulheisen G. Walther et Associés, directed by Georges Walther. Mulheisen’s brother-in-law, Alfred Kern , founded a company in Strasbourg in 1953. Curt Schwenkedel ended his activities in 1972. A new organ built by the Schwenkedel firm is located in Eglise Protestante Unie de Passy Annonciation (1973). Yves Sévère (1929-2004) was the stepson and pupil of Pierre Chéron, whose firm he continued in 1963. Chapelle des pères Franciscains ( 19xx).
Xavier Silbermann worked at Schwenkedel until 1958 and continued his activities on his own. He made 42 organs and restored or enlarged another 23 instruments. He worked on the organ of the Chapelle du couvent des Dominicains (1985). Laurent Steinmetz (??-2001) and his brother Chrétien learned their skills at the Schwenkedel firm. They started their own firm in 1968. He built the organ of Saint-Gabriel (1982). Jean-Pierre Swiderski (*1940) He learned his skills at the Schwenkedel firm, where he was voicer. After that, he started his own company in the Parisian region. He worked on the organs of Chapelle de l’Hôpital Lariboisière , Chapelle du Lycée Jacques-Decour , Chapelle Notre- Dame du bon conseil , Eglise Protestante Unie de Pentemont Luxembourg - Chapelle du Luxembourg , Notre-Dame d’Auteuil , Saint-Eloi , Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Belleville , Saint-Roch (Chapelle de la Vierge) , Saint-Sulpice . L’abbé Victor Joseph Henri Tronchet (1861-1945) was priest and as organ builder probably autodidact. He created his firm in Nogent-le-Rotrou in 1887. He played a significant role in the organ building of Sarthe and the surrounding region. His nephew André (??-1969) continued the firm from 1928 onwards. He built the organ of N otre-Dame du Liban (1910) Henry Willis & Son was founded in 1845 by Henry Willis, who was nicknamed "Father Willis" because of his contribution to the art and science of organ building and to distinguish him from his younger relatives working in the firm. Five generations of the Willis family served as principals of the firm until 1997 when Henry Willis IV retired and David Wyld was appointed as managing director. The Willis firm is regarded as the leading organ builder of the Victorian era. During the Industrial Revolution many towns equipped themselves with imposing town halls and churches, preferably with a Willis instrument in a symphonic style. Henry Willis IV built many ‘Junior Development Plan Organs’ which he designed to be economical initially, but with scope for expansion as funds became available. He worked on the organ of Saint- Joseph's Catholic Church.
after the revolution after the revolution
Organs of Paris

Other

organ builders

XIX-XXth century

1-2-3

ORGANS OF PARIS 2.0 © Vincent Hildebrandt COLOPHON
after the revolution after the revolution
Muhleisen Pels-Dhondt (Herselt, Belgium). Jean-Baptiste D’Hondt founded a small organ building firm in 1892 near Brussels. In the middle of the XXth century, his firm merged with the firm of Bernard Pels, a descendant of a dynasty of organ builders (founded by Bernard Pels I in 1870), located at Alkmaar, Netherlands. Since 1987, the firm is led by Gerard Pels. He is the fourth generation of both families. After the construction of a number of new organs, the firm specialized itself towards restoration of organs from the XVIth to XXth century. He worked on the organs of Eglise du coeur eucharistique de Jésus (1947) and rebuilded the organ of Saint- Joseph-des-épinettes (2014) Rieger Jean & Edouard (??-1952) Ruche (Lyon) were active during the first half of the XXth century. Charles Meslé (1914-2011) was voicer at this firm. He continued the firm after the death of Edouard in 1952. The firm closed in 1979. He built the organ of Chapelle des Franciscaines réparatrices de Jésus Hostie (1973). Pierre Sarelot (1930-2010) and Louis Benoist (*1931) were organ builders in Mans (Laigné-en-Belin) from 1968-1995 and were doing mainly restoration works. They worked on the organ of the Chapelle des pères Franciscains and the Eglise de L'immaculée conception . The firm was taken over by Jean-Pierre Conan (*1952) and closed in 2010. Georges Schwenkedel (1885-1958) worked first at the firm Roethinger and created later, together with Ernest Mulheisen (1897-1981), the Maison Schwenkedel. His son Curt joined the company. In 1941, Muhleisen changed to building neobaroque organs and his company was renamed into Mulheisen G. Walther et Associés, directed by Georges Walther. Mulheisen’s brother-in-law, Alfred Kern , founded a company in Strasbourg in 1953. Curt Schwenkedel ended his activities in 1972. A new organ built by the Schwenkedel firm is located in Eglise Protestante Unie de Passy Annonciation (1973). Yves Sévère (1929-2004) was the stepson and pupil of Pierre Chéron, whose firm he continued in 1963. Chapelle des pères Franciscains ( 19xx). Xavier Silbermann worked at Schwenkedel until 1958 and continued his activities on his own. He made 42 organs and restored or enlarged another 23 instruments. He worked on the organ of the Chapelle du couvent des Dominicains (1985). Laurent Steinmetz (??-2001) and his brother Chrétien learned their skills at the Schwenkedel firm. They started their own firm in 1968. He built the organ of Saint-Gabriel (1982). Jean-Pierre Swiderski (*1940) He learned his skills at the Schwenkedel firm, where he was voicer. After that, he started his own company in the Parisian region. He worked on the organs of Chapelle de l’Hôpital Lariboisière , Chapelle du Lycée Jacques-Decour , Chapelle Notre-Dame du bon conseil , Notre-Dame d’Auteuil , Eglise Protestante Unie de Pentemont Luxembourg - Chapelle du Luxembourg , Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Belleville , Saint-Roch (Chapelle de la Vierge) , Saint-Sulpice . L’abbé Victor Joseph Henri Tronchet (1861-1945) was priest and as organ builder probably autodidact. He created his firm in Nogent-le-Rotrou in 1887. He played a significant role in the organ building of Sarthe and the surrounding region. His nephew André (??-1969) continued the firm from 1928 onwards. He built the organ of N otre-Dame du Liban (1910). Henry Willis & Son was founded in 1845 by Henry Willis, who was nicknamed "Father Willis" because of his contribution to the art and science of organ building and to distinguish him from his younger relatives working in the firm. Five generations of the Willis family served as principals of the firm until 1997 when Henry Willis IV retired and David Wyld was appointed as Managing Director. The Willis firm is regarded as the leading organ builder of the Victorian era. During the Industrial Revolution many towns equipped themselves with imposing town halls and churches, preferably with a Willis instrument in a symphonic style. Henry Willis IV built many ‘Junior Development Plan Organs’ which he designed to be economical initially, but with scope for expansion as funds became available. He worked on the organ of Saint-Joseph's Catholic Church.