Petition update

Rettungsaktion für Tonhalle-Orgel

Stefan Polster
Hildesheim, Germany

Feb 7, 2017 — Der "Tages Anzeiger" Zürich schreibt in seiner Ausgabe vom 7. Februar 2017

"Rettungsaktion für Tonhalle-Orgel
Nach dem Umbau soll ein kleineres Instrument eingebaut werden. Das wollen Kulturschaffende nun verhindern."

"Rescue action for the Tonhalle organ

After the conversion a smaller instrument will be installed. That is what culture-makers want to prevent."

Soon he went off, the 165 million franc conversion of the Tonhalle and the Congress House. On the 6th of July, the Tonhalle Orchestra will last for the last time at the old location. Afterwards, the musicians will restrain the Maag-Eventhalle in Kreis 5 for the three-year conversion period.

According to Pro-Tonhalle organ initiator Flavio Vassalli, the organ in the Tonhalle-Saal is threatened. "I have information that the current organ is to be replaced by a new, smaller instrument after the conversion in 2020." This is completely incomprehensible for him, as the present Tonhalle organ is well-known far beyond the national borders. "Many organists and concert organizers regard them as a solo and accompanying instrument," says Vassalli. The majestic front of the organ was marked as a pastoral pasture in 1988 and impressively impressed the hall for almost 30 years. "To replace the current, large organ with a smaller instrument would be to give up a prestigious project in Zurich, which the audience has been enthusiastically enthusiastic about for many years and particularly lately."

Reactions from home and abroad

Organist Vassalli is now fighting for the rescue of the instrument. He wrote an open letter, signed by many artists, to all Zurich city councils as well as to municipal councils. He also collects signatures for the preservation of the organ (, which he intends to hand over to the Zurich City Council in the form of a petition in the coming months. "The reactions to the signature campaign are great. I am getting approval for the thing from home and abroad, "he says.

He is also supported by Ulrich Meldau, the longtime organizer of the Tonhalle organ. He does not understand why the "venerable instrument" is to be replaced. The criticism that the organ is too loud and too big, he does not admit: "The opposite is the case. It offers unbelievable colors, mixes that you have invented for this organ. »

Meldau understands that the previous organ had to be dismantled and stored for the reconstruction, but after that it was ready for restoration. "It's a pity that such a magnificent organ may have to go into exile," he says. He knew many Tonhalle subscribers who would regret such a loss.

High maintenance costs

The Tonhalle organ belongs to the Kongresshaus Foundation Zurich. As President Hans-Peter Fricker told "At the moment, a working group of domestic and foreign experts is clarifying the options for the renewal of the present organ." The criticism of the association Pro Tonhalle Organ He takes seriously.

However, there are good reasons against the existing organ. It is only poorly suited, for example, for the performance of symphonic works with organ participation. Fricker: "In addition, the instrument causes maintenance costs of between 50,000 and 60,000 francs per year. In my opinion, 10,000 francs would be appropriate for such an instrument. "

«We are still fighting»

To the costs: dismantling, storage and rehabilitation of the existing organ would cost well a million francs. A new organ, on the other hand, is worth three million francs. "That's true. But whatever is decided, whether old or new organ, the financing is definitely private. No public funds are used, "says Fricker.

Vassalli and Meldau do not want to wait until the expert group has made their judgment. They continue to collect signatures with Zurich concertgoers. Meldau: "We are still fighting. Here is one of the worlds best organs on the launch list. This should not be. »(

Translation: Google

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