The King's Organ resounds again

The organ of Matthias Church,, the largest one in Budapest, has resounded for centuries in the best acoustic space of the city. In 1907, King Francis Joseph offered an endowment of 50.000 crowns from his private treasury, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his coronation, for building a new, worthy musical instrument. The „King's Organ”, made in Ottó Rieger's factory in Budapest, had been completed by 1909. Part of the finished musical instrument  was placed on the attick, which, through the gap of the ceiling, created the effect of  some celestrial sounds in the church.
During its life, the organ has been rebuilt several times. It was seriously damaged in the Second World War, with the full restoration only taking place in 1983-84, in the Czech organ factory of  Rieger-Kloss.
In 2009, the by then 100 year-old organ was pulled down again and transported to the workshop of the Organ Building Manufactory in Pécs. After its restoration, the inner arrangement of the newly-built instrument was altered, by which the sounding of the rows of pipes has improved significantly, with the west rose window of the church also becoming partly visible. The blessing ceremonial  of the completed instrument was celebrated by Cardinal Péter Erdő, on 16 November 2014.

  • Church organist, Bertalan Hock
    He was born in 1953 in Budapest. He graduated from the Music Academy in 1980 as student of Ferenc Gergely. From 1976 organist of the Matthias Church.
    From 1990 organ teacher at the György Solti music school. Regular performer at Hungarian and foreign concerts. Engaged in organ research, art relic expert at several organ renovation projects. Founder and artistic manager of the Matthias Church Sunday Organ Nights series.
The instrument consists of two parts. The great organ on the choir gallery was put back to its original place, while the new choir organ, built in 2010, stands on the gallery above the sacristy. The choir organ can be used as an independent musical instrument, but also as a separate remote console to the great organ.
The organ can be sounded from four consols, by 13 manuals and 3 pedal manuals altogether.
The 111 stops include 7771 pipes and 18 bells. In the front part, horizontal trumpets provide the sounds.
The largest pipe is 10,6 m (175 kg), the smallest being 8 mm (60 g). For the restoration of the organ 45 m3 wood material has been used. The total weight of the instrument is 60 tons.
The complete instrument , both the great organ and the choir organ, can be played from the  five-manual console on the choir gallery. In its memory, 10 000 tone-colour combinations can be stored.The special feature of the recently finished restoration is that a mobile version of the console on the choir gallery was made and placed down in the church interior, where it can be connected to the mains at several points so that both organs can be played from it.
Thanks to the most sophisticated control system, both parts of the instrument can be played at the same time, creating a kind of stereo effect, or, used separately, replying to each other like an echo, in duo or trio. Even four organists can play simultaniously from the consoles.

We hope that you will enjoy the magnificent sounds of the „King's Organ”. Have a wonderful time, enjoy our concerts!