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The Temppeliaukio Church Organ

The Temppeliaukio Church Organ

Along with the founding of the congregation of Taivallahti in 1965, master organist Pentti Pelto was appointed the first permanent post as church musician for Taivallahti. For the almost 5 years that it took to complete the church, Taivallahti congregation worked in temporary facilities in Olaus Petri Church. During that time Pelto developed his idea for the Temppeliaukio Church organ. In 1969, the year Temppeliaukio Church was completed, Pentti Pelto became the head of Kangasala Organ factory and so the main responsibility of completing the church organ fell upon the then leading pair of Helsinki’s congregations’ organ committee, Asko Rautioaho and Matti Rindell. The two men designed and saw through the construction of the organ according to contemporary (1960’s and 70’s) timbre ideals.

Many still remember the almost nation-wide dispute over the construction of Temppeliaukio Church. The same uproar almost accompanied the construction of the church organ as well: for several years there was debate on the appearance of the organ and on where it was to be placed, with the church being flooded with many different ideas on the matter daily. In the end, the organ was completed in one year out of sight behind a protective wall. Finally in 1975, the organ was completed and it was time for its inauguration along with a series of concerts.

Organ builder Veikko Virtanen built the organ (Opus 75) in 1975. The organ has 4 manuals and pedalboards, 43 stops and 3001 organ pipes. The organ has a mechanical action and an electrical action.

Asko Rautioaho has designed the overall layout and disposition of the organ. The façade is designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen. Sound design is by Ossi Viitala and structural design is by Veikko Virtanen.