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The history of the Muhleisen organ manufacture

Ernest Muhleisen (1897-1981) opened his business in 1941. He came, originally, from Echterdingen, Germany, where he served his apprenticeship at the firm of Weigle. He studied the Silbermann organs at the side of G. Schwenkedel while working for the Strasbourg organ manufacturer Roethinger. He voiced, among others, the organs in the cathedrals of Amiens, Laon and Strasbourg.

In 1942, Ernest Muhleisen hired his wife’s brother, Alfred Kern; and in 1948, his son-in-law, Georges E. Walther, joined him. A. Kern worked in collaboration with them until 1955, during which time a number of Silbermann organs were restored (Marmoutier for example) and the name Muhleisen became a reference.

In the 1960’s the firm experienced a strong development under the direction of Georges E. Walther, who created and constructed a number of mechanical organs of a modern design.


From 1970 on, André Schaerer began taking over, progressively, the Muhleisen's voicing, after having been learning and working in the workshops Gonzales and Beckerath. In the 1980’s André Schaerer (as collaborator and, later, associate) oriented the workshop towards the traditional French style under the direction of Georges Walther, Jr., born 1954, who had been a time by Marcussen in Denmark. After 1978 André Schaerer and G. Walther pursue together an esthetic and a manufacture personal in the conception of resonance married with the traditional French cabinetry. This evolution took place with the participation and cooperation of the entire Muhleisen team.

With André Schaerer and Jean-Christophe Debely since 1988, the Muhleisen voicing took a recognized place in a concept of organs attached to the french and alsacian tradition.

Since 2008, Patrick Armand, who collaborates since 1984 first as journeyman, later as technical director, overtook the general management of the workshop, keeping the spirit, bringing enrichment.

The workshop is now settled in Strasbourg-Eschau, neighbouring the national school for organbuilding.

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The french EPV label make the workshop and his crafstmen team to "National Treasure" qualifiing the workshop as a living heritage.

 

The Muhleisen style
Each instrument is conceived and constructed by our team of craftsmen with care and precision. The French tradition of organ manufacture and the local Alsatian culture combine to set the high standards of fabrication while providing the framework for our craftsmen to express their particular skills and sensitivity rendering each project unique in achievement yet faithful to the standards set.

The techniques
No compromise is made in the choice of materials; rejecting all plastics and toxic products, only natural materials of the first quality are used.
Since more than 25 years, we cast the pipe metal in decreasing thickness, shape it by hand, build mecanics, windchests and cases in solid wood.
Modern knowledge and techniques go into making our instruments live and vibrate according to the requirements imposed by art and sacred music.