Marc Garnier

Marc Garnier:Garnier Orgues

Founder of the Marc GARNIER Orgues Company in France and Japan

Director of Marc GARNIER Orgues – 52 years experience in organ building.

Marc is the highest experienced Organ Builder of our Company and pioneer in the early North German organ movement for early music rediscovery joining alongside Klass Bolt and Haral Vogel in the years of 1970.

(1957-1960): Marc holds an Electrical and Technologist Diploma from High School of Belfort in France. This is the time when he discovered his passion for organs while playing at church for the weekly service.

(1965-1969): He was apprenticed to Curt Schwenkedel in Strasbourg. He receives basic training there and learns Organ building methods used by that time in new organ as well as restoration work. He rapidly gains skills and is appointed mechanic designer in the technical Buro where he was in charge of the Console, Trackers, and other technical parts of the instruments.

(1970-1972): He finished his training in Germany with Rudolf von Beckerath taking this chance to discover instruments from Germany and specifically the North German area. He then extends his training with the harpsichord builder Rainer Schutze. Back to France he opens his own workshop in 1972.

(1972-1981): Since the beginning of his workshop his instruments display an historical orientation leaning toward North European Baroque. He revives the historical German spring-chest (inspired by the model found in the Schnitger Organ of Langwarden), which he used in almost all instruments. His first church Organ, Strasbourg St-Paul (1976 – 2 kb/33stps) demonstrates the use of the techniques, with a spring-chest, a short octave, pipe work of 97%lead hammered metal, and cuneiform bellows. It was the first new Organ of the 20th century to use mesotonic tuning, with two optional supplementary notes per Octav. Other important instruments are at Metz Cathedral, a Renaissance-style Organ built inside a 1537 case (1981 – 2kb/10stps). Esquelbecq, with double semitone and sharp keys (1982 – 2 kb/25stps) and the protestant church at Belfort (1983 – 2kb/24stps) built in the North German style.

(1982-2017): Marc first French classical organ was as well his first Japanese commission in KOBE, Shoin University (1983 – 4kb/33stps). Continuing to build in Japan and adapting his manufacture for this, he built the organ at Tokyo St-Luc Hospital (1988 – 3kb/31stps) and continued with the highly innovative instrument at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space (1991 – 8kb/126stps). Built on three revolving decks, with historical and contemporary cases, it is in fact three independent instruments in the same organ chests, each with different pitch and tuning: a Dutch Renaissance organ (26 stps) and a German Baroque organ (37 stps), both played from the three-manual historical console, and a classical French organ with a Romantic extension (63 stops), played from the five-manual contemporary console. Despite the complexity, tracker action and spring-driven windchest are used. Subsequent, simplified interpretation of the same style may be found at Tokyo Christian Institute (1995 – 3kb/31stps), Morioka Civil Hall (1998 – 3kb/34stps), Tokyo Geidai Daigaku (1999 – 5kb/76stps). Marc GARNIER also built organ with more contemporary cases in Germany (Kircheim Teck, Tübingen and Waldshut).

Since he started in 1972 Marc has been always looking for enhancing the way he builds organs. Along with his wife Elisabeth (Pianist, Organist and harpsichordist) he constantly improved his understanding of the musical aspect of the instrument and what a good voicing process requires to be optimized. He is the first organ builder in who reintroduced the complete voicing on customer Site developing his own tools and methods to optimize the musicality. Marc developed software programs to help analysing and scaling the pipes using computed harmonics curves generating automatic 3d design of pipes and wind-chests. Those tools are still in use today and are part of the success of his Organs.

Among his organ activity Marc as been one of the founder and president of the GPFO (French Organ builder Association) in 1979 and under his presidency he created the French national Organ builder and Pipes maker school in Strasbourg in 1985.

Marc fluently speaks French, German and Alsatian dialect with an intermediate level of English.