Symphony Hall, Birmingham, with its marvellous accoustics, built ten years ago, is completed now with the addition of the commissioned magnificent pipe organ, heard for the first time at the weekend.

Built by Klais of Bonn, Germany, with more than six thousand pipes, it has two consoles, one attached to the main instrument, the other free-standing and movable.

Philipp Klais, with demonstrative assistance from Peter King (organist of Bath Abbey, where there is also a Klais organ) explained the very many and varied sounds the imaginative specification can produce.

Over the two days several City of Birmingham Symphony concerts showed the versatility of the new organ in its many guises: as a wonderful solo instrument in the inaugural recital by Thomas Trotter (city organist), combined with the orchestra, and as an accompaniment for choir and soloists.

Jill Hopkins