St Stephen’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Brisbane

This organ was built by Knud Smenge of Melbourne in 2000. It is his Opus 50 and was the last major organ built by him. It has electric action with a moveable detached console. The case was designed by Robin Gibson. Robert Boughen was the consultant. This organ replaced the earlier c. 1890 William Anderson organ 3-manual organ that is now located in the Old Musuem building (former home of the Brisbane City Hall organ). Knud Smenge has built two other organs in Queensland, the Lutheran Church in Beenleigh and St Andrew’s Lutheran, Brisbane.


16' (A)      Bourdon 	  
8'           Principal 	  
8'           Hohlflute 	  
8'           Rohrflute 	   
8'           Gamba 	 	  
8' (C)       Salicional 	  
4'           Octave 	 	  
4'           Harmonic Flute 	 
4' (D)       Spitzflute 	  
2'           Octave 		  
IV-V         Mixture  
8'           Trumpet 	

SWELL (enclosed)

16' (A)      Bourdon 	 
8' (B)       Hohlflute 	  
8' (C)       Salicional 	  
8'           Voix Celeste 	  
4'           Principal 	  
4'           Spitzflute 	 
2 2/3'       Nazard 	      
2'           Waldflute 	  
1 3/5'       Terz 	      
IV           Mixture      
16'(E)       Fagot 		 
8'           Harmonic Trumpet  
8'(F)        Oboe 		 

POSITIV (enclosed)

8'           Gedackt
8' (D)       Spitzflute 	  
4'           Rohrflute 	  
2'           Principal 	  
1 1/3'       Nasat 	      
II           Sesquialtera  
8'           Clarinet 	  
8'           Fanfare Trumpet(unenclosed)

32' (G)      Untersatz	 
16' (G)      Subbas 		 
16' (H)      Principal 	 
16' (A)      Bourdon 	 
8' (A)       Bourdon 	  
8' (H)       Octave 	 	 
8'           Spitzflute 	 
4'           Choral Bass 	
IV           Mixture    
16'          Bombarde 	 
8'           Trumpet 	   
16'(E)       Fagot 		 
8' (E)       Fagot 	 	  
4' (F)       Oboe 		  


Great and Pedal Piston Coupler
Great to Pedal
Swell to Great
Swell to Pedal
Swell to Positiv
Swell Sub Octave
Swell Super Octave
Positiv to Great 
Positiv to Pedal
Positiv Sub Octave
Positiv Super Octave 


Electric Key and Stop Action


Both Swells on Swell Pedal
Invert Manuals II and I

Cone tuning
Equal Temperament

St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane

The organ was originally built with pneumatic action in 1909 by Norman and Beard of Norwich with the specification drawn up by the cathedral organist, George Sampson. At that time it was designed to hold 50 speaking ranks although some were prepared for, and a few added in 1912, 1914, 1915 & 1924.

The 1924 transcept case was a gift of the Brisbane City Council in commemoration of the centenary of white settlement in Queensland.  The organ was considerably enlarged and electrified by Hill, Norman and Beard (Aust.) in 1972, after the extension of the cathedral nave. Robert Boughen was the consultant and cathedral organist. Included at that time were the Solo strings, which came from Gloucester Cathedral and Southwell Minster.

Visit the Cathedral’s website.

St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, Creek Street

St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, Creek Street

This organ was originally built by W. G. Rendall in 1905. Frederick Ernst Ladegast was the foreman and his hand can be seen in the werkprinzip layout of the organ, with the Swell above the Great which is in turn above the unenclosed Choir. The Pedal has four chests located on either side of the manual soundboards. The manual soundboards were supplied by Norman & Beard of Norwich. The case was built by King’s of Brisbane. The pipework appears to be older than 1900 and may contain parts of the Gray & Davidson organ of Pitt Street Congregational Church, Sydney.

Although this instrument started out in life as an Australian-made job, utilising new technology with its electro-pneumatic action, like many pioneers it was not entirely satisfactory in execution. The organ was highly erratic and the story goes that when the trams ran down Ann St, when they reached the church they would drain the power and the organ would stop playing!

In 1908, before the instrument was five years old, the original electric action was replaced with a more reliable tubular-pneumatic one, and another Diapason 8′ was added to the Great, the original proving inadequate to its surroundings. This was carried out by B. B. Whitehouse and there is a signature of Arthur Langham, the foreman, high up on the case and dated 1907.

More stops were added in 1922. Changes were made in 1935, 1941 and 1955 but the most significant was a complete rebuild by J.W. Walker and Sons in 1983-4. Simon was working as a trainee at the time and worked with David Hudd. Paul Fulcher voiced the organ and it was from Paul that Simon received his first voicing training.

Brisbane City Hall

This instrument was originally built by Henry Willis and Sons in England between 1891-2 and first erected in the Brisbane Exhibition Hall, Bowen Park.  At that time it had 4 manuals and 45 speaking stops, with tubular pneumatic action – a very advanced design for the period.  While the first recital was held in 1892 for the members of the Royal National Association (the governing body of the Exhibition), public concerts were a popular attraction for many years.

In the 1920’s, the Association faced financial problems and thought of selling the instrument interstate. Mr. George Sampson, Organist at St. John’s Cathedral, suggested that it be acquired for the Civic Hall being built on King George Square and arranged a number of subscription concerts to help defray costs.

Opportunity was taken at this time to enlarge and modernise the instrument.  Henry Willis and Sons, working in conjunction with local organ builders Whitehouse Brothers, converted the action to electro-pneumatic.  In 1930, the rebuilt instrument with five manuals and pedals, containing seventy-six speaking stops, was playing again.

Regular concerts were given by the City Organists and visiting celebrities as well as local promising students.  For many years orchestral works involving the organ were a feature of Symphony Concerts and Recitals.

Some 40 years after its first rebuild, it became apparent that much of the electrical work needed replacement and opportunity was taken to resite the Solo and Choir departments.  Bringing the Solo into the one area brought into focus the desirability of rearranging the Solo Tuba as a 16′.  New pipework was provided for the 8′ Tuba and Tuba Clarion 4′.  As well, the Great and Pedal were provided each with a new Mixture stop, while the Choir was enlarged by a Sesquialtera II.  All of this work, as well as the installation of a solid state capture system, was undertaken by NSW builders Brown and Arkley, thus bringing the instrument to seventy-eight speaking stops.

Since then WJ Simon Pierce has undertaken the general maintenance and repair of the instrument; sometimes – alarmingly – just before, or in the middle of, public recitals!

The specifications shown below are the old ones. The new specifications can be found here

Compass of Manuals CC-C, 61 notes
Compass of pedals CCC-F, 30 notes

32'    Double Open Bass
32'    Contra Violone
16'    Open Bass
16'    Contra Bass
16'    Open Diapason
16'    Violone
16'    Bourdon
16'    Viole
8'     Octave
8'     Principal
8'     Violon Cello
8'     Flute
4'     Fifteenth
III    Mixture 10-12-15
IV     Mixture 15-1-9-22-26  

32'    Contra Ophicleide
16'    Ophicleide
16'    Cor Anglais
8'     Clarion
4'     Octave Clarion    

Solo to Pedal
Choir to Pedal
Choir to Pedal 4'
Swell to Pedal
Swell to Pedal 4'
Great to Pedal
Great to Pedal 4'
Orchestral to Pedal
Orchestral to Pedal 4'


16'    Double Open Diapason
8'     Open Diapason No 1
8'     Open Diapason No 2
8'     Open Diapason No 3
8'     Claribel Flute
4'     Principal
4'     Flute Harmonic
2 2/3' Twelfth
2'     Fifteenth
III    Sesquialtera 17-19-22
IV     Furniture 19-22-26-29
16'    Contra Tromba
8'     Tromba
4'     Clarion   

Solo to Great
Choir to Great
Swell to Great Sub
Swell to Great Octave
Orchestral to Great


16'    Lieblich Bourdon
8'     Geigen Diapason
8'     Lieblich Gedackt
8'     Salicional
8'     Vox Angelica
4'     Gemshorn
4'     Lieblich Flute
2'     Flageolet
III    Mixture 17-19-22
8'     Hautboy

8'     Vox Humana
16'    Double Trumpet
8'     Trumpet
4'     Clarion   

Swell Sub Octave
Swell Unison Off


8'     Viola da Gamba
8'     Lieblich Gedackt
8'     Dulciana
4'     Flute d'Amour
2'     Harmonic Piccolo
II     Sesquialtera  12-17
8'     Corno di Bassetto 

Choir Sub Octave
Choir Octave
Choir Unison Off
Solo to Choir

SOLO ORGAN (Enclosed)

8'     Flute Harmonique
4'     Concert Flute
16'    Double Clarinet
8'     Orchestral Oboe		   


SOLO ORGAN (Unenclosed)

8'     Diapason Stentor 8'
       Cathedral Chimes
16'    Tuba
8'     Tuba
4'     Tuba Clarion


16'    Violon
8'     Violoncello
8'     Cello Celestes
8'     Orchestral Flute
8'     Tibia Clausa
8'     Sylvestrina
4'     Viola
4'     Flute Ouverte
2 2/3' Nazard
2'     Piccolo
1 3/5' Tierce
16'    Cor Anglais
8'     Clarinet
8'     French Horn
8'     Orchestral Trumpet    

Orchestral Sub Octave
Orchestral Octave
Orchestral Unison Off
Solo to Orchestral
ACCESSORIES ———————————————————————–
5 Thumb Pistons to Solo Organ
7 Thumb Pistons to Orchestral Organ
7 Thumb Pistons to Swell Organ
7 Thumb Pistons to Great Organ
5 Thumb Pistons to Choir Organ
7 Toe Pistons to Pedal Organ
7 Toe Pistons to Swell Organ (duplicating)
1 Reversible Thumb Piston Solo to Choir
1 Reversible Thumb Piston Solo to Orchestral
1 Reversible Thumb Piston Solo to Great
1 Reversible Thumb Piston Choir to Great
1 Reversible Thumb Piston Choir to Pedal
1 Reversible Thumb Piston Swell to Choir
1 Reversible Thumb Piston Swell to Great
1 Reversible Thumb Piston Swell to Pedal
1 Reversible Thumb Piston Great to Pedal (duplicating)
1 Reversible Thumb Piston Orchestral to Swell
1 Reversible Thumb Piston         Orchestral to Great
1 Reversible Thumb Piston      Orchestral to Choir
1 Reversible Thumb Piston      Orchestral to Pedal
1 Reversible Thumb Piston               Full Organ (programmable)
1 General Cancel thumb piston
1 Thumb Piston for “Set”
1 Thumb Piston for “Neutral Set”
Great and Pedal Combinations    coupled
1 General Crescendo Pedal
Swell Expression Pedal
Choir Expression Pedal
Solo Expression Pedal
Orchestral Expression Pedal
1 lever pedal (kick-down)
Swell Pedal selection switches
40 memory channels for Piston    Capture system
Memory Channel No.1 set by organbuilders only

Ann Street Presbyterian Church, Brisbane

This historic church has undergone extensive renovation in recent years. After a long period of virtual silence the pipe organ is also undergoing restoration..

The pipework and soundboards of the 1903 Charles Richardson instrument are now fully restored and playing. The console has also been restored. The old-style trigger Swell box mechanism has been remade as well as the Tremulant. These had been dismantled in 1980 and many of the parts had been lost. We have used what parts remained and clues in the organ to rebuild them. The action has settled in well and is now very responsive. The sound is simply superb and it is a delight to hear this fine old organ again. The keys have been recovered with ivory resin and pinned as per the original tropical specification. The Pedals and casework are to be restored in the near future and already the pedalboard is back in position..



8′     Open Diapason

8′     Hohlflute

8′     Dulciana

4′     Principal

4′     Flute

2′     Flautina


16′    Bourdon

8′     Open Diapason

8′     Lieblich Gedact

8′     Salicional

8′     Vox Angelica

4′     Gemshorn

2′     Piccolo

8′     Cornopean

8′     Oboe


16′    Open Diapason

16′    Bourdon

Couplers:      Swell to Great;  Great to Pedal; Swell to Ped; Swell Super; Swell Sub

Compass:  2 manuals of 58 notes each,   CC – aaa

Pedalboard of 30 notes

Action: Pneumatic action.

Swell mechanism: Horizontalshades, trigger action.

Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)

This instrument was built by Johannes Klais of Bonn, Germany in 1986 (opened in 1987) for the Concert Hall designed by Brisbane architect, Robin Gibson. Robert Boughen O.B.E. was the consultant for the organ. This is a splendid example of a large modern eclectic concert hall organ with a large variety of stops whilst still having its own distinct Klais flavour.

Hans Gerd Klais and Robert Boughen drew up the specification and the organ was designed by Klaus Fluegel. Theo Eimermacher voiced the organ. Guether Schumacher was the installation foreman. Of interest is the fact that this was the first organ that Philipp Klais worked on and helped him decide which career path to take. He is now in charge of the firm.

Simon worked with the installation team and enjoyed the challange of working on a large modern organ. His schoolboy German also improved! Later this association with Klais led to Simon working in Cologne and Wuerzburg with Klais in 1998.



16'    Praestant       
16'    Rohrgedackt     
8'     Princ. I-II 	 
8'     Doppelflute 	 
8'     Gemshorn 	 
5 1/3' Nazard 	     
4'     Octave 		  
4'     Nachthorn 	 
3 1/5' Terz 	     
2 2/3' Quinte	     
2'     Superoctave 	 
VI     Mixtur VI
IV     Acuta IV 
V      Cornet (mounted) 
16'    Trompete        
8'     Trompette 	 
8'     Trompete 	 
4'     Clairon 	 


16'    Bourdon	        
8'     Geigenprincipal  
8'     Flute Harmonique
8'     Metallgedackt 	 
8'     Spitzgamba 	 
8'     Unda maris 	 
4'     Flute octave 	 
2'     Octavin 	 
VI     Plain jeu  
16'    Bassoon 	         
8'     Trompette Harmonique
8'     Hautbois 	 
4'     Clairon harm 	 
2' Glockenspiel 	 


16'    Pommer          
8'     Praestant 	 
8'     Holzgedackt 	 
8'     Quintade 	  
8'     Bifaria 	  
4'     Principal 	 
4'     Rohrflote 	 
2'     Octave 		 
2'     Waldflote 	 
1 1/3' Larigot      
II     Sesquialter  
V      Scharff  
III    Cymbel III
16'    Dulcian         
8'     Solotrompete 	 
8'     Cromorne 	 


16'    Tromp. Magna         
8'     Tromp. de Bat. 	 
4'     Orlos	 
8'     Bajoncillo


16'    Salicional      
8'     Rohrflote 
8'     Gamba	 
8'     Fernflote 	 
8'     Vox Coelestis	 
4'     Blockflote 	 
4'     Salicet 	 
2 2/3' Nasard 	     
2'     Flageolett 	 
1 3/5' Terz 	      
1'     Sifflet 	 
III    Harmonic Aetheria 	 
8'     Clarinette 	 
8'     Schalmey 	 
8'     Vox humana 	 


32'     Praestant       
32'     Untersatz      
16'     Principal       
16'     Subbass         
16'     Contrabass      
8'      Octave 		 
8'      Trichtergedact	 
8'      Cello 		 
4'      Superoctave 	 
4'      Koppelflote 	  
2'      Jubalflote 	 
V       Hintersatz  
IV      Pedalmixture  
IV      Aliquot  
32'     Contraposaune'
16'     Bombarde        
16'     Posaune         
8'      Trompete 	 
8'      Holztrompete 	 
4'      Schalmey 	 


Positiv     - Great
Swell       - Great 
Solo        - Great
Swell       - Positiv
Solo        - Positiv
Solo        - Swell
Trompeteria - Great
Trompeteria - Solo
Trompeteria - Pedal
Pos         - Pedal
Great       - Pedal 
Swell       - Pedal 
Solo        - Pedal

Mayne Hall, The University of Queensland, St Lucia

For many years, the University of Queensland at St. Lucia suffered the lack of a multi-purpose concert hall, with most graduation ceremonies, large orations and other such events taking place at Brisbane City Hall.  In the 1970’s, Robin Gibson, the architect for many public buildings in Brisbane (most notably the Southbank complex of halls, theatres, library and museum) proposed a very original and acoustically interesting design for Mayne Hall, situated on the lawns in front of the main facade of the University.

A pipe organ was an integral part of the design, and Roger Pogson of Sydney was engaged as builder. The instrument including casework was constructed by Laukhuff of Germany, before installation and voicing by Pogson himself.

The instrument, like the building, was expected to be multifunctional, but it is doubtful that the instrument is as versatile as its surroundings.  The specification may lead one to expect that all schools of organ music may be played on it.  However, some styles are more successfully managed than others.  The Orgelbewegung style caters for the Baroque, as well as some neo-Baroque and twentieth Century styles, and the inclusion of a Jeu de Tierces on Swell and Great allows for the classical French repertoire.  However, the immediacy of the position and the lack of reverberation in the hall (less than two seconds) limit the authentic rendition of the Romantic Schools, whether they be English, French or German!

In 2004, the building was converted into the Mayne Centre which houses the University of Queensland Art collection. Basically, a set of galleries was added into the centre of the hall. The interior has completely changed and is now more interesting acoustically. Whilst the organ is not as visible as before, the sound of the organ in the various spaces is warmer and more exciting. Recent concerts at the Centre have shown that this venue is still one of the best musical spaces for hearing fine organ music. There is a link on our site to the series of concerts being held on this organ.