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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Special Event

1961 Beckerath organ at H. Douglas Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall, Stetson University, DeLand, Florida

American Organ History will be Celebrated at Stetson University November 4-5, 2011.

The neo-classic organ revival got is start in the United States when Rudolf von Beckerath of Hamburg installed a modern mechanical-action instrument at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cleveland . Its success led to three subsequent installations in Montreal in 1959, 1960 and 1961:

These, in turn, led the young professor Paul R. Jenkins to encourage the administration of Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, to purchase a Beckerath organ for the Lee Chapel on campus. This, the first such instrument to be installed in the primary performance space of an American school of music, marked a revolutionary departure from the generally accepted norms in American organ building of that era and foreshadowed a rebirth of classic organ design in the United States.

Links and Resources

Beckerath Early Timeline in North America


A two-day festival November 4-5, 2011 celebrates Stetson’s Beckerath instrument’s 50th anniversary.

Attend if you can, or enjoy this audio from Professor Jenkins’ faculty recital recorded October 23, 1987:

Audio Listen Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): Prelude & Fugue in g

Audio Listen Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933): Chorale-Improvisation, ‘Bei dr, Jesu, will ich bleiben’, fr Op. 65

Audio Listen Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707): Variations on ‘Vater unser im Himmelreich’

Audio Listen Buxtehude: Praeludium in E, BuxWV 141

Audio Listen Cesar Franck (1822-1890: Priere, Op. 20

Audio Listen Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986): Scherzo, Op. 2

Audio Listen Louis Vierne (1870-1937): Final, fr Symphony No. 6, Op. 59