About

Martin Foundation Concert Organ

The Martin Foundation Concert Organ

Unveiled on September 8, 2007, the Martin Foundation Concert Organ was created and built in San Francisco by Schoenstein & Co. and then installed into Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The process took nearly two years, including a seven month process of installing and tonal finishing. The organ boasts 3,568 total pipes, ranging in length from 3/4 of an inch to 32 feet. About 20 percent of the pipes are made of wood, sugar pine or poplar, while the remaining 80 percent are a combination of tin, lead and zinc.

Some interesting facts about the Martin Foundation Concert Organ:
  • 13,723 hours went into the construction and finishing of the organ
  • 47 voices (47 different tone colors). Note: Some tone colors are a blend of two or more ranks
  • Three manual keyboards and one pedal keyboard
  • 64 ranks (or sets) of pipes
  • Powered by three centrifugal fan blowers totaling 12.5 horse power
  • Pipes are operated by electric-pneumatic action
Some unusual features include:
  • Pizzicato Bass - a voice that plays momentarily when a key is touched so as to imitate the double bass played pizzicato
  • Sforzando Coupler - facilitates powerful accent effects
  • Variable Tremulant - organist can control the speed of vibrato on certain voices
  • 256 different pre-programmed settings for the console controls
  • Schoenstein double expression system whereby voices may go from ppp to fff in a continuous crescendo

Click here to read more about the organ.

Click here to view a photo essay.

Click here to view a PDF of the organ stops.