On 19 May 2006, in the presence of His Excellency the British Ambassador to the Netherlands Mr Lyn Parker, the Stichting (Foundation) Cathedral Organ Leiden formally announced the intention that a large English organ will be brought into use in the Hooglandse Kerk, Leiden, in mid-2015. The new organ will not only be the largest English organ in the Netherlands, it even promises to be one of the largest in Continental Europe.
Since the official presentation of its plans, the Stichting Cathedral Organ Leiden has been delighted with the increasing number of sponsors and donors for this project, thanks in no small way both to the august body of people that makes up our Recommending Committee and to the impressive series of concerts that have been held featuring top national and international musicians. As a result of the generosity of all our sponsors and donors, the Stichting Cathedral Organ Leiden has been able to purchase an existing, unique organ that will form the basis for the quality and sound of the instrument that is to be realized. The organ in question was built in 1892 by the world-famous organ builder Henry ‘Father’ Willis, and is in almost original condition. The quality, character and tonal colour of this organ guarantee that the cathedral organ in its completed state will meet our highest requirements and expectations.
On this website you will be able to read a further account of the choices made by the Stichting Cathedral Organ Leiden with regard to the proposed organ, the functionality of the instrument, its proposed siting and its specific characteristics.
The presence of two monumental organs in a single cathedral, the renowned baroque De Swart / Van Hagerbeer organ and the new English Romantic organ, will bring about the creation of a fantastic organ podium in Leiden. The city of Leiden can already boast a number of fine, and in many cases, historic baroque organs, such as the Van Hagerbeer organ in the Pieterskerk. Through the realization of the English cathedral organ and with all the future concerts and events, together with their collaboration with other concert organizers and the Stichting Orgelstad Leiden, the Stichting Cathedral Organ Leiden will make a substantial contribution to the promotion of Leiden as the ‘city of organs.’
With the purchase of the ‘Father’ Willis organ, the contours of the English cathedral organ will be both visible and audible. We would like to invite you to join us in bringing this unique project to realization, and hope that this website will serve as the overture!
Chairman, Stichting Cathedral Organ Leiden
Copyright SCOL 2016