Toulouse - FR
Toulouse is famous throughout the world for its economic dynamism, its achievements in sport, its innovative spirit and – its organs. For our City has a proud instrumental heritage of more than thirty organs of different periods and styles, which it cherishes so that as wide a public as possible can enjoy them.
The most illustrious Toulouse organ is without doubt the one in the basilica of Saint-Sernin, built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in 1889. But Toulouse also has a German baroque organ by Jürgen Ahrend at the Musée des Augustins, Puget organs in the churches of Notre-Dame du Taur and Notre-Dame de la Dalbade and other beautifully crafted instruments. No fewer than twelve of these wonderfully preserved instruments have been listed as historic monuments.
At the suggestion of Xavier Darasse, an internationally renowned organist and composer from Toulouse, the City began restoring its organ heritage in the 1980s. Since then, a determined policy to promote our organ heritage has led to the creation of advanced organ classes, an international organ festival, an international organ competition and amateur concerts.
All these initiatives are now further enhancing the reputation of Toulouse, which has been a member of the Association of European Cities of Historical Organs (ECHO) since 1997.