On 12 December, the Pierre Palla Concert Organ at the Hilversum Radio Music Centre will be heard once again in all its glory. Soloists Simon Gledhill and Richard Hills will be at the keyboards for an exceptional concert, the culmination of years of efforts to restore and rebuild this historic 1936 instrument. The offer has been made available in MUSNew by NPO as a Members Selection, ref. SM/2019/12/48/01.
The programme, made up of solos and duets on the organ as well as organ-piano duets, will feature operetta excerpts, songs by Jerome Kern and Jimmy McHugh written in 1936, the year the instrument was first inaugurated, and music originally performed on it in radio broadcasts by its first organist, Pierre Palla.
The organ was originally installed in a Dutch radio concert studio before having to be removed when the building was sold. The instrument was then dismounted and stored in an old factory. Thanks to the hard work and fundraising by many volunteers, the organ was restored and rebuilt over a period for several years. For instance, the pipes had to be manually cleaned, one by one.
The refurbished concert organ has now found a new home at the Hilversum Radio Music Centre, where it will play a prominent role in NPO’s regular concert series.