Cuba’s First Two-Keyboard Organ


Photo Feature by Ghyslaine Peigné

HAVANA TIMES — I am French and have just returned from a two-month visit to Havana, where I had the opportunity to witness the assembly of an organ.

The organ was donated by Switzerland to Havana’s oldest church – the Church of the Holy Spirit located at the intersection of Cuba and Acosta streets.


The instrument traveled to the island from Zurich, almost entirely by ship. From Bern it was sent to Havana, via Rotterdam.

The Swiss organist Ferdinand Stemmer only had a few days to assemble the instrument, make the needed adjustments and tune it. He was very meticulous, a real artist!

I would like to share the experience here, through the photos I took.


He was aided in his work by a Cuban volunteer, Yoslay Hernandez Baez. He said to me: “I can’t wait to hear German masters and their Cuban disciples play this organ. This is a highly important event for Cuban culture, the first step towards restoring a millennium old culture that was almost lost on the island.”

This is the first two-keyboard organ to be assembled in Cuba

The instrument is ready for its inauguration on March 1, 2015.

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