Parsons Pipe Organ Builders, Canandaigua, New York, is restoring the historic Aeolian Opus 1559 in Ca’ d’Zan, the John and Mable Ringling residence, Sarasota, Florida. This 36,000-square-foot winter home was completed in 1925 and included detailed plans for one of Aeolian’s three-manual instruments. Music is integral to both the Ringling Mansion, Museum, and Archives, and the organ will have a pivotal role going forward in The Ringling’s vision to educate, inspire, and entertain the public.
The instrument consists of 32 stops (35 ranks) across five manual divisions. Enhancements will be made to assure the safe and reliable use of the instrument in terms of electrical codes and access for maintenance. The console will include a Barden roll-player system to allow daily demonstration of the organ via the digital playing of any of Aeolian’s original rolls. The restoration will use historic techniques except where components have been removed or irreversibly damaged. The instrument was completely removed in September 2022 to allow extensive repairs to be made to the mansion in preparation for the organ’s return in late 2024.
Funding for the project is provided by the Ca’ d’Zan, Florida State University, and the Wyncote Foundation.
For information: parsonsorgans.com.
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