Life and work of the organ maker Albert Kiespenning

by Auke H. Vlagsma | Photo's: Jan Smelik | Het ORGEL | Year 115 | (2019) | Issue 1

Wijk bij Duurstede, Kiespenning-orgel. Foto: Jan Smelik

On 9 March, 2018, the organ in the Grote Kerk (St.-Janskerk) in Wijk bij Duurstede was reïnaugurated after a restoration by Orgelmakers Van Vulpen of Utrecht. The instrument is now tuned in mean-tone. It was built about 1615 by Albert Kiespenning.

The restoration is a good reason to consider the life and work of this organ maker more closely, especially since there has not hitherto been a publication giving an overview of Kiespenning’s work. His instrument in Wijk bij Duurstede is well known, but what is known of his life, how extensive was his production, where did he work, and what is extant of his work? The present article discusses these questions, supplementing data from the literature with data from archives, which is published here for the first time.