Opus 17

Nov 2, 09:21 AM

Opus 17

Northern Illinois University Concert Hall
DeKalb, Illinois
Year of Commission 1981

The Concert Hall at Illinois State University is a remarkable hall and was designed for multiple purposes. Organ, orchestra, as well as chamber music are performed here, each requiring diverse acoustic settings.

As you enter the Hall, you are faced with the impressive view of the organ, located on a balcony above the orchestra stage. Large transparent plastic spheres and saucers, located above the orchestra stage, can be adjusted up and down. These acoustic devices act as reflectors so that individual musicians can best hear each other.

The Hall’s brick wall sidings, with their flush mortar joint detailing, create a three-second reverberation sonic environment, which is ideal for the Martin Ott organ, as well as being best suited for music requiring typically a large acoustical envelope. Movable curtains can be lowered over the brick wall to tailor the acoustics to other types of performances, such as chamber music. In such case, the reverberation time can be adjusted to one-half second.

Dirk A. Flentrop, an influential Dutch organ builder, was consulted on the proper location of the organ. Organ faculty Robert Reeves played the Dedicatory Recital on April 25, 1983.

The organ is still in need of completion. James Russel Brown, Professor of Organ at NIU, as well as Martin Ott are looking forward to the task. This means, inserting the missing Rückpositiv section to the existing balcony railing in order to complete the organ tonally and visually. This in turn would greatly expand the repertoire and complete what this great instrument was envisioned to be.


42 stops | 63 ranks
Mechanical action