A forest of singing pipes

2014

The Maison symphonique de Montréal has welcomed an imposing new figure into its family! The new organ of the MSO, the “Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique,” was inaugurated on May 28.

Music lovers as well as the curious were able to listen to the imposing musical instrument during the MSO’s free Open House. The program included various recitals and activities at the Place des Arts to mark the event. More than 20,000 people gathered together to attend a variety of inaugural concerts.

The organ was named in honour of Mr. Pierre Béique, founder and first general manager of the MSO (from 1939 to 1970). Jacqueline Desmarais, who donated the organ to the MSO, wished to mark the exceptional contribution made by Mr. Béique to this organization.

The organ was handcrafted by the renowned Casavant Brothers of Saint-Hyacinthe and has 109 registers, 83 stops, 116 ranks and 6,489 pipes. It took four years to build this immense structure that is 16 metres high and weighs more than 25 tons. It is a rare instrument among organs because it includes trompettes en chamade, which resemble a small row of pipes placed horizontally, facing the audience. The aesthetic design on its façade is the work of architects Diamond Schmitt + Ædifica, who expertly arranged the pipes to resemble the outline of a sound wave.

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