Organs & Churches

Here are a few details on Montreal organs. These organs are used during CIOC competitions.

Church of the Immaculate Conception

Address : 1855 Rachel St E, Montréal QC
Telephone : 514.526.5961
Metro : Mont-Royal or Papineau
Stop List

The Church:
Between 1886 and 1895, about ten large churches were built in Montreal. Among them was l’Église de l’Immaculée-Conception, in 1889, the surface area of which is more than 57,028 square feet (5,300 sq. m.).

Architect Georges-Émile Tanguay, who was not very knowledgeable about the Gothic style but who was well aware of new techniques, proposed a neo-Romanesque building.

For the first time in North America, steel was used in the construction of a church. This innovation made it possible to build a pillar-free nave but required that the vault be lowered, and this led to a better acoustic.

The Organ:
Von Beckerath, 1961

• 3 manuals, 38 stops, 56 ranks 
• Mechanical key and stop action

The organ of Immaculée-Conception was built by Rudolf von Beckerath and inaugurated on September 24, 1961. Beckerath’s workmanship had already touched Montrealers with the clarity of his two-manual instrument at Queen Mary Road United Church and the unique majesty of the five-manual instrument at St. Joseph’s Oratory. At Immaculée-Conception, he crowned his trilogy with an instrument of pure poetry.

Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Address : 305 Rachel St E, Montréal QC
Telephone : 514.526.5961
Metro : Mont-Royal
Stop List

The Church:
The first church was built on the site between 1873 and 1874, but it was destroyed by a fire in January 1898. The fire took away the beautiful spire that would be replaced by two crowns, still in place today.

For the reconstruction of the church, Émile Vanier prepared the plans and the church was built between 1899 and 1900. In 1911, the church was again devastated by fire. Gone was the interior decoration, the roof and the cupola; the upper part of the exterior walls was also damaged.

Finally, the church was built for a third time between 1912 and 1914. The architect decided on a squat building with a very wide nave capable of housing eight rows of double seats accommodating 2,200 worshippers. Never-ending lateral galleries that circle the chancel can accommodate more than 1,000 worshippers. The church, restored in 1987, was classified in 1990 as a historical landmark by the city of Montreal.

The Organ:
Casavant, Opus 615, 1915/1996

• 4 manuals, 65 stops, 92 ranks
• Electro-pneumatic action

After the second reconstruction, the church housed a Casavant organ (Opus 448) built in 1908, a 59-stop instrument with four manuals and pedal division. The instrument was destroyed in the 1911 fire. Once the church was rebuilt, Casavant Frères proposed a large 61-stop instrument (Opus 615) divided among four manuals and pedal division. Since then, seven stops have been added to the organ. This large organ reflects with a certain success today the tradition of the French symphonic organ.

Maison symphonique de Montréal

Address : 1600 Saint-Urbain St, Montréal QC
Telephone : 514.842.2112
Metro : Place des arts
Stop List

The Hall:
(from Inaugurated in 2011, the Maison symphonique is a classical music hall built to the most exacting international standards of natural acoustics, stage design and architecture. Its perfect visibility and immersive intimacy give audiences an exceptional audio and visual experience.

The Maison symphonique is the home venue for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) nearly 240 days of the year. It also hosts other ensembles such as the Orchestre Métropolitain, Les Violons du Roy, I Musici de Montréal, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, and concerts and recitals by the Pro Musica Society.

Through a public-private partnership (PPP), Groupe immobilier Ovation, led by SNC-Lavalin, was charged with designing, building and opening the Maison symphonique de Montréal; Place des Arts manages the space’s programming on days when it is not reserved for the OSM.

The Organ:
Casavant, Opus 3900, 2014

• 4 manuals and pedal
• 83 stops, 116 ranks, 6489 pipes
• Electro-pneumatic action

(From The OSM is proud to possess a great orchestral organ. Purchase of that organ was made possible courtesy of Mrs. Jacqueline Desmarais, who assumed the total cost. The designation keeps alive the memory of the inimitable contribution made by Mr. Pierre Béique, first general manager of the OSM, to the Orchestra’s mission of excellence.

  • The Maison symphonique de Montréal organ, inaugurated on May 28, 2014, was manufactured by Casavant Frères on behalf of the OSM, and is the Orchestra’s property. It bears the opus number 3,900, corresponding to the 3,900th organ commission received by the house of Casavant since its founding.
  • Its visual design was done in collaboration with architects Diamond Schmitt and Ædifica.
  • The organ has four keyboards, 83 stops, 109 registers, 116 ranks and a total of 6,489 pipes. The pipes are handmade and are composed of lead and tin.
  • The Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique comprises two consoles, one mechanical that is fixed to the base of the instrument, the other electrical and moveable.

2024 CIOC Semifinalists
2024 CIOC International Jury
Official Rules and Required Repertoire