In 2001, the University of Calgary commissioned the world-renowned German organ builder Jurgen Ahrend to design and construct an organ for the Eckhardt-Gramatté Recital hall at the University’s Rozsa Centre for Music and International Understanding.
In July and August 2006, a team from the Ahrend workshop, led by Hendrik Ahrend, was on site in Calgary to install, voice, and tune the instrument, which was completed at the Ahrend workshop in Leer, Germany in April 2006.
This organ is one of only four in North America designed by Jurgen Ahrend, and is the only instrument of its kind in Canada.
The tonal design and specifications of the new organ are consistent with the seventeenth-century North German organs that Jurgen Ahrend was commissioned to renovate following WWII. As such, it is a musical window into the much-loved world of Baroque organ music as it was heard in the time of Bach and Buxtehude.
To celebrate the much-anticipated arrival of this instrument, the University of Calgary hosted a nine-day Organ Inaugural Festival and Symposium, featuring local, national and international performers and lecturers to entertain and educate delighted audiences. This event was a significant tribute to everyone involved in the years of planning and effort dedicated to bringing the organ to the University of Calgary.
Continuing the celebration, the University launched the Inaugural Organ Concert Season for the academic year, working in partnership with performers and ensembles from the Calgary community. The concerts were presented once monthly until May 2007.
We acknowledge the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts