Pipe Organ Performances Featuring Grammy-nominated Organ Conservator Jan Kraybill
Between canceled performances and an empty building, our stunning Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875, has been lonely these past months.
However, with the help of our Grammy-nominated Organ Conservator, Jan Kraybill, we’ve found a way to share the beauty and sounds of this instrument and offer you the best seat in the house.
In a series of six short performance videos, Kraybill offers a brief synopsis of each work before she takes to the crown jewel of Helzberg Hall for an intimate concert just for you.
Intrigued by the organ itself and want to know more? We’ve compiled a few fun facts to share with you. Find more in our Google Arts & Culture exhibition.
- Québec-based firm Casavant Frères custom designed the mechanical action organ in the French romantic tradition, with 79 stops, 102 ranks and 5,548 pipes.
- The 125-year-old firm custom designed every piece of the Kauffman Center’s pipe organ. At the time of production, it was the largest mechanical action organ Casavant Frères had ever built.
- After it was produced and tested, the organ was disassembled and its 20,000 pieces were transported 1,368 miles from Québec to Kansas City.
- Only 80 pipes are visible, just more than 1 percent of the total; the rest live behind the steel-mesh covering at the north end of Helzberg Hall.
- The smallest pipe is the size of a pencil and the largest is 32 feet and weighs half a ton. The large visible wooden pipes are made of Douglas fir, matching the other wood elements of Helzberg Hall.
- It took two months of installation and two months of testing to “voice” the organ in Helzberg Hall. Much of this work was done overnight to accommodate the brand-new concert hall’s busy performance schedule.
We hope you enjoy virtually being back inside Helzberg Hall.
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