Restoration of organs

Marcussen & Søn have been entrusted with significant restoration projects in both Denmark and abroad, among other places at the St. Bavo Kerk and Nieuwe Kerk in Holland. In Denmark we have done restorations and reconstructions of important historical pipe organs in a.o. Roskilde Cathedral, which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, The Clausholm Castle Chapel, Sct. Mariæ Church in Elsinore, and several preserved Marcussen-organs from the 19th century. Among those the oldest organ of the firm; In 1820 installed in Sieseby Church, Germany, and in 1986 relocated to Haderslev Cathedral, Denmark, as well as the Frederiksborg Palace Chapel’s Marcussen-organ from 1864. Recently the Marcussen & Reuter organ at the Christiansborg Palace Chapel has been restored and partly reconstructed. Marcussen & Reuter is a predecessor to the Marcussen & Søn of today.

The restoration process – preliminary examination

Pipe organs which have been preserved through centuries, are rarely found entirely in their original state. Usually they will have undergone several repairs and alterations, and in some cases only the organ façade and parts of the pipework have been preserved. When restoring a rebuilt organ, which in time constitutes an independent picture of other periods, and thus is considered historically valuable, the organ will not be restored to its original state, as irreplaceable material would then be lost.

When restoring organs partly in their original state, the originally used construction method is copied along with the original choice of material, if organ parts need to be restored or replaced. At the same time, repairing pipe material and performing tonal adjustment is done with consideration of the existing tonal aesthetics.

With an initial analysis of the present state of the organ and preserved organ parts, it is attempted to map the original appearance of the organ, including disposition, compass and pitch. All accessible archive material about the original organ and its history is studied, and here important information can often be found in the church archives. In cases where the work of restoring concerns a historical Marcussen-organ, our firm archive will also be a valuable source of knowledge. Comparable organs may be examined, as they will witness about original construction methods and tonal style.


In Denmark, we have carried out restorations and reconstructions of significant historical pipe organs in, among others in Roskilde Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Through our long experience, we ensure that we restore or maintain with understanding and respect for the time in which the individual organ is built.

Read more here

Restoring and reconstruction of pipes

When renovating the pipework, the following tasks will often be included: Straightening of metal pipes, repair of defect soldering, repair of wooden pipes attacked by wood-worms etc., and if necessary; reestablishing of original pipe lengths, tuning devices, etc.. In case it is necessary to reconstruct single pipes or complete pipe ranks, it will be carried out looking to historical examples. Equipment for manufacturing hammered metal sheets and tapered thickness is at disposal in our workshop. The tonal finishing of the historical pipe material includes adjustment of voicing and tuning, in order to preserve or recreate the timbre and pitch of the organ.

Repair of keyboards and wind chests

The craftsman tasks vary accordingly to the condition of the organ, but typically the following elements will be included:
– Repair of keyboards, key and stop action, using historical correct constructions and materials. Possibly reconstruction of the entire console on the basis of knowledge of the original compass, measures, coupling mechanism, shape of stop knops etc..

– Repair of the wind chests of different construction types as slider, cone or spring chest, especially with regards to wind tightness. Likewise using historically correct methods and materials, and also taking into account a reliable and stable mechanical function. Pipe boards or other may have to be changed in order to reestablish the original specification.

– Repair of wind supply system, with possible reconstruction of bellows and arrangement for calcant. Repair of casework and ornaments, and possibly reestablishment of later changes or additions.

  • The result is extremely successful and it feels a lot like a whole new instrument. A few components are reused. The Marcussen team has succeeded in creating a perfect connection between old and new. The tonal fusion is perfect, and the large and colorful outline gives almost unprecedented possibilities of expression in both liturgical and concerts. A few disparities of the previous instrument have been eliminated, and all the works of the organ now appear well balanced and in harmony.
    From the declaration of approval when rebuilding and extending the organ in the Trinity Church, Trinity Sogn, Skads Provsti, Ribe Stift, June 2018
  • Brødremenighedens kirke in Christiansfeld
    The craftsmanship of the restoration / reconstruction is convincing and the work is done with accomplished and in the right" spirit "- done with great experience, understanding and consciousness of traditions. With the special dimensions and very long mechanical connections, the organ has always been demanding to play. With the recent work done the pipe organ is - probably better than ever – and it that corresponds naturally to the rich, healthy and solid sound impressions.
    The competent, very patient-minded intonation work deserves great praise.
    Brødremenighedens kirke in Christiansfeld
    In the declaration of approval from May 2017 it is stated that
  • Restoration of the organ in Dråby Church, Syddjurs Provist, Aarhus Stift.
    The results of the restoration are in every way extremely successful"
      “The craftsmanship and the materials used are of high class and nothing is left to chance. The sound is in perfect balance - a tone that is nuanced in relation to the size of the organ, where both registrations and tutti are characterized by fullness, breadth and gravity - and by great beauty
    Restoration of the organ in Dråby Church, Syddjurs Provist, Aarhus Stift.
    From the approval declaration, restoration report October 2017:
  • The unique Marcussen character is not to be mistaken. This pipe organ has got its own unique personality and is to be considered among the best of international concert hall organs. The result is not perceived a copy or a compromise, but as a coherent whole of "universal" character.
    The intonation work is done at the highest level; the organ sounds convincingly big - but in addition simply remarkably beautiful.
    Quote from the Declaration of Approval, November 2014