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Learn about The Weiwuying Pipe Organ

The pipe organ is one of the world's oldest instruments, dating back to as early as the 3 rd century BC in Greece. Since it has a majestic, dignified sound, which is even more pronounced by the echo in large churches, along with its variance in timbre, it became an important presence in Christianity beginning in the Middle Ages, in turn prompting the composition of a great number of pieces over time.

As missionaries brought their faith out of Europe, the organ followed to churches all over the world—over 30 can be found in Taiwanese churches. Now that Western classical music is a popular genre, almost all concert halls are built with an organ, allowing people all over to hear the grandeur of this fascinating instrument.

Similarly, an organ was also put into the plans for Weiwuying.Century-old German organ manufacturer Johannes Klais Orgelbau built the instrument, which has 9,085 pipes and 127 stops, over a period of a bit more than three years. Being perfectly blended into the vineyard seating as the cherry on top, it never fails to stun world-class organists from around the globe!



Written by Hsin-Hung LIU

The Weiwuying pipe organ completed by Orgelbau Klais Bonn in 2018 is both the largest organ in Asia and one of the best concert hall pipe organs in the world, as well as the largest and most advanced pipe organ manufactured by a German instrument company.

The Weiwuying pipe organ, with 9,085 pipes and 127 stops in total, can be used with either modern or traditional tuning standards (A = 415Hz, 442Hz, or 465Hz), which enable the two organs to be played either as a duo or individually, and even collaborate with a variety of musical performances which involve large orchestras, chamber orchestras, Baroque chamber ensembles, choruses, solo playing or educational activities. The versatility of the Weiwuying pipe organ allows organists to choose from a broad repertoire of styles stretching across a vast span of 400 years.

There are 3 consoles connected to the Weiwuying pipe organ: the Symphonic (A) and the Echo (B) Organs are both independently equipped with a mechanical console that is physically connected to the organs. The console of the former (A) also includes the stops and pistons of the latter (B), therefore allowing organists to play both organs at the same time. In addition to these 2 mechanical consoles, the movable stage Console (C) is identical in appearance with that of the symphonic organ (A) and is connected to both organs through the power supply system, allowing organists to perform on both organs from anywhere on stage.

The two asymmetrical, bamboo-shaped organs consist of 9,085 functional pipes and 177 decorative pipes which do not produce sound; thus blending the organs with the visually approachable and appeasing Weiwuying Concert Hall.


The Weiwuying pipe organ is comprised of two organs above the stage on both sides.

A: The Symphonic Organ on stage right weighs 40 tons, and the dimensions are 15 (width) x 18 (height) x 5 (depth) meters. It consists of a wind supply system connected to 7,169 pipes, controlled by 102 stops via a console with 5 manuals and 1 pedalboard. The organ's acoustic timbres were designed according to the aesthetics of French Romanticism.

B: The Echo Organ on stage left weighs 10 tons, and the dimensions are 4 (width) x 9 (height) x 4 (depth) meters.  It also consists of an independent wind supply system, which is connected to 1,916 pipes controlled by 25 stops via a console with 2 independent manuals and 1 pedalboard. The organ's acoustic timbre selection is reminiscent of German-Baroque music.

C: Movable Console
This is equivalent to around half of a car in terms of weight and base area. Similar to the mechanism of the Symphonic Organ, it can be rearranged to suit both the European and American standards via the pedalboard.





The structural principles of a pipe organ are similar to that of human organs. The sound produced by directing the air from the wind supply system is created in much the same way human lungs enable humans to sing; the music we hear is made up of the sound from each pipe. An organ to its stops is like a chorus to its members – although everyone sings the same tune, the nature of the sound differs. The connections between tens of thousands of parts at the back of a console to stops and pipes resemble the human nervous system, allowing organists to manage such a gigantic instrument. Performing on the Weiwuying pipe organ with 127 stops is like conducting a chorus of 127 people with both hands and feet. 

  1. Grand-chœur
  2. Grand-orgue (Positif expressif hidden behind)
  3. Attached console
  4. Récit expressif
  5. Solo Chamades
  6. Solo
  7. Pédale (16')
  1. Pédale (32')
  2. Blower
  3. Reservoir bellows
  4. Oberwerk
  5. Hauptwerk
  6. Attached console
  7. Main stage console



Blower Room


The hydraulic, wind or man power of earlier pipe organs are replaced with powerful blowers on modern organs. The wind reservoir of the Symphonic Organ, located at the bottom (2F) in conjunction with blowers inside it, forms airflow so as to evenly deliver air to each pipe. The reservoir of the Echo Symphonic Organ is installed at the bottom right of the console.





The mechanical consoles of the Symphonic and Echo Organ, as well as the Movable Stage Console are all equipped with a computer-aided memory system, which allows organists to quickly select a wide range of stops without an assistant when performing. The Weiwuying pipe organ's 9 keyboards display a mix of traditional and modern sounds. With the exception of the 2 pedalboards, which were given the same name, the remaining 7 manuals were each named individually.



The Symphonic Organ

The divisions of the Symphonic Organ are listed from the top down by position as follows:

A1: V. Solo
This is connected to 11 stops and 661 pipes, among which are three sets of powerful horizontal en chamades mounted on the top right within the organ.

A2: IV. Grand-chœur
This is connected to 14 stops and 1,535 pipes.

A3: III. Récit Expressi
This is connected to 18 stops and 1,572 pipes enclosed with shutters to create a more muffled sound when closed.

A4: II. Grand-orgue
This is connected to 21 stops and 1,842 pipes. The Grand-orgue division is placed here as the second manual (II) on British and American consoles, but usually placed on the bottom as the lowest manual (I) on German and French consoles. Although the positions of the divisions are not changed, couplers on the console allow organists to switch the two manuals (I and II) as desired.

A5: I. Positif Expressif
This is connected to 11 stops and 919 pipes. Similar to the Récit Expressif (III), shutters are installed in front of the pipes of the Positif Expressif to adjust the sense of distance and space of the sound. Moreover, There's a special stop in this section that produces a sound like that of a bird when the air flows in the pipe with water.

A6: Pedal
This is connected to 27 stops and 640 pipes, including the bass stops and pipes located on the left side of the organ, which are three to four floors high and extend from the ceiling of the Concert Hall to the bottom of the organ.



The Echo Organ

The divisions of the Echo Organ are listed from the top down by position as follows:

B1: II. Oberwerk
This is connected to 9 stops and 798 pipes, whose acoustic timbres are similar to that of the Récit Expressif division on the Symphonic Organ, the difference being that the Oberwerk's timbres resemble that of the Baroque period while the latter lean toward French Romanticism.

B2: I. Hauptwerk
This is connected to 9 stops and 798 pipes. The pipes of this division are located above the console, further above which are the pipes of the Oberwerk division.

B3: Pedal
This is connected to 7 stops and 320 pipes. 



Movable Console

This is equivalent to around half of a car in terms of weight and base area. Similar to the mechanism of the Symphonic Organ, it can be rearranged to suit both the European and American standards via the pedalboard.



The Weiwuying Pipe Organ Specification List



Few of the world's concert halls are equipped with such a unique, natural, asymmetrical, and beautiful organ, which can even be played as one instrument despite the separate nature of the two organs. The audience can hear the clarity of the organ's sound and experience the sense of space provided by the flowing music, as well as feel the vibration of the low frequency. To top it all, the audience can also see the musical performance clearly wherever they sit in the hall. The Weiwuying Concert Hall provides a sensuous experience beyond just visual and auditory satisfaction.


Related Programs: 

Weiwuying Organ Festival

Explore the Pipe Organ






Iveta Apkalna – Widor & Vierne

Felix Hell Organ Fantasies: Masterworks by Bach, Liszt & Reger



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