Experience some of the finest music written for organ performed by internationally renowned organists on one of the world’s best concert hall instruments.
Hidden behind the beautiful 1911 facade is an array of thousands of pipes, dozens of bellows and a network of sophisticated wiring and technology. This organ has gained a reputation as one the world’s finest concert hall instruments: a reputation endorsed by many visiting international organists.
It was not always so. In 1970 the original instrument was replaced with a new organ of a different style. But it was soon discovered that it could not fill the hall with sound. In 2010 the ‘lost splendour’ returned with the Town Hall’s third organ – an instrument built to match its opulent surroundings.
Protected as a heritage item, the new organ contains some of the original 1911 pipes, which were repaired, re-voiced and reincorporated into the instrument as part of the 2010 refit. At the same time, two stops were specially designed to capture the spirit of two traditional Māori instruments – the pūkāea and the kōauau– and unique Māori decorations were added to the largest 12 pipes of each rank.
An internal viewers’ walkway runs inside the organ from where the carvings are just a few of the myriad of fascinating features of the instrument that are visible.