Sydney Opera House Grand Organ construction

Sydney Opera House Grand Organ construction
Network Ten
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This short Network Ten Eyewitness News story circa 1973 shows the Grand Organ for the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House in its infancy.

British organist and composer Peter Hurford plays the instrument which the reporter says will be completed in two to three years. Ultimately the organ took Ronald Sharp and others 10 years to complete.

It consists of 10,244 individual pipes and is the world's largest mechanical tracker-action pipe organ.

Like the Opera House itself, the organ was steeped in controversy over its budget ($1.2 million) and the time it took to build and voice.

The first recital was performed on 7 June 1979, almost six years after the opening of the Opera House.

You can hear more from Ronald Sharp about the painstaking construction in the documentary Man and An Organ (Film Australia Collection, Peter Johnson, 1981).

This is an excerpt from an Eyewitness News news file footage can from the NFSA collection.

Notes by Beth Taylor