OHTA 2018 Conference

Each year the Organ Historical Trust of Australia organises a conference lasting about a week in one of the states of Australia. Conferences have also been held on both islands of New Zealand. These conferences bring organists and those interested in the instrument together from all over Australia, as well as New Zealand, the UK, the USA, Asia and Europe. Often, an international authority on the history and restoration of historic organs attends as a key-note speaker. Past guests have included Uwe Pape (Germany), Barbara Owen (USA) and Stephen Bicknell (UK). Opportunities are provided for recitals on historic and instruments. Members often have time to play and inspect the instruments for themselves and papers on the preservation of organs and other relevant topics are presented and later published in OHTA News.

2019 Adelaide, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Past conferences


Restored 1877 Hill & Son organ at the Barossa Regional Gallery, Tanunda, SA (Valley Imagery)

OHTA’s 2019 conference will be held in South Australia from 30 September to 4 October this year. It will be based in Adelaide with a day in Tanunda in the Barossa Valley. Accommodation will be reserved at a selected hotel in Adelaide. The theme of the conference will be based around the three organbuilding approaches of Restoration, Rebuilding and Reconstruction. This will be explored in a series of lectures and organ visits.

It is planned to visit the two cathedral organs in Adelaide, one of which was newly installed in 2016 (by Casavant Frères / Wakeley Pipe Organs) and the other fully restored in 2018 (by Hill, Norman & Beard / Harrison & Harrison). The visit to Tanunda will enable the Hill & Son concert organ at the Barossa Regional Gallery to be heard and inspected in its completed state. The conference will also put a spotlight on the notable South Australian German immigrant organ builder, J.W. Wolff, where will hear his 1867 chamber organ which is in the final stages of being restored, as well as a range of prominent 20th century organs of more recent times.

The conference brochure will be available around March this year and will be placed on the OHTA website and posted out with the May issue of OHTA News. Enquiries should be directed to the OHTA acting-chair Steve Kaesler, email