Refurbishment of Trinity’s Organ Begins

Posted on: 15 July 2016

The organ in Trinity's Public Theatre, housed in an historic 1684 case, is an important part of Trinity's and Ireland’s national heritage.  

The organ has been in a state of decline for many years, and is now virtually unplayable.  The University has made plans to start the refurbishment of the organ and this year’s final summer commencement ceremony on 24 June was the last time that the Public Theatre organ was used in its current incarnation.

Apart from the organ case and facade pipes, some of which have had to be taken down for safety reasons, the organ itself is of no historical value, as it was largely rebuilt mid-20th century.

The organ case, however, is of great significance as it is one of the very few surviving organ cases by Lancelot Pease. It will be retained, with a full refurbishment and redecoration to be carried out. The original case was built by Lancelot Pease who also built organs in Christ Church Cathedral, St Audeon’s Church and Canterbury Cathedral in the 17th century.

A new 2-manual organ, with an authentic 17th century stop-list is to be constructed by specialist historic organ builders from the UK, Goetz & Gwynn, during the coming year. It is planned that it will be installed in the refurbished case in the summer of 2017.

Commenting the significance of the restoration project, Professor David Grayson, Chair of the Organ Committee said: “Once the new organ is installed and commissioned it will be the jewel in the crown of the University's musical portfolio, as well as a fine asset to the city and to the country. We are extremely grateful to those who have made significant donations to make this major project possible.”

Based on expert evaluation, building a new organ and refurbishing the case will cost an estimated €450,000. To date Trinity has secured private funding in the amount of about €300,000. Donations from the John & Ann Boland bequest, an anonymous donor and the Trinity Association & Trust will help Trinity finance the project.

In addition to the organ refurbishment project, Facilities & Services is carrying out a painting and decorating project of the Public Theatre this summer while the portraits, including one of Queen Elizabeth I, have been removed to be cleaned.

Please contact the Trinity Development and Alumni office if you would like more information or wish to support the organ refurbishment venture in any way –


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