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View from southern aisle towards North-West

The Restoration of the Great Organ of St. Mary’s Church of Rostock

In 1983 the organ has been renovated for the last time.

Both in 1938 and in 1983 all major measures have been limited by restricted ressources (preparation of war, economical crisis during socialism era).

It ist time to bring this unique instrument into a state which corresponds to its original vision!

In 2019, all previous considerations (partly begun 20 years ago) regarding renovation, rebuild or new organ, are being brought closer towards concretion.
By the moment, you will mostly see appeals here. As soon as plans by the advisory board are available, they will be published here, too.
What is unavoidable to be done is stated here>

This page collects individual articles regarding this project. If you want to learn more about the history of the church and its organ, please turn to the dedicated page>. The necessity of a restoration is being illustrated by the material which is presented on our documentation page>.


  • Joachim Vetter, director of music, invites five organ builder firms to examine the organ and to tender for concepts for its future
  • Proposals for new organs within the historic case are beeing made, only one concept prefers a historical reconstruction following the MArx organ of 1793 and integrating the retained material from that period. None of those concepts was realized, as the church was still facing other major renovation challenges.


  • For the successor of J. Vetter the parish asks for dedicated knowledge of organ building matters to direct a future renovation


  • The renovation of the nave’s vault is completed, the organ is being cleaned.
  • For the first time after decades, the hull of the building is completely closed. The heavy immission of dust ceases, and the organ’s sound is slightly improved by these circumstances
  • Karl-Bernhardin Kropf is elected successor of KMD Joachim Vetter, he has a strong dedication to questions of organ building and has completed an advisor’s training. In the following years, some long-suffered minor faults are being corrected


  • A compact disc is produced, documenting the slightly improved sound of the organ takes place.
  • The parish invites organ builders and experts to a symposium – an intensive discussion about the powers and weaknesses of the organ. Some potentials are acknowledged, but the general mood is pessimistic about the existing organ.


  • The society for support of church music in Rostock’s lutheran city parish is founded
  • since 2009 many organists and experts visited the instrument, many talks spread a more positive view of a restoration


  • A specially designed positive organ is presented to the parish by the supporters society. Among other purposes this organ is also dedicated as a substitutional instrument for the time of a renovation of the Great Organ.
  • Fundraising for the positive organ was succesfully achieved by pipe patronages and minor donations. Following this success, the supporters society declares preparing the renovation of the Great Organ as its next goal.
  • The parish reserves funds for research measures in preparation of a renovation project


  • An advisory board is being formed
  • Delays occur due to adjustments with the heritage preservation authorities regarding the preliminary examinations


  • The first expertises regarding the surface of the organ, its structure and history (including the duke’s loft beneath the organ) will be commissioned.
  • In the course of the Bach Festival in May 2019 (, the Great organ will be played for the last time within a large concert with entrance fee, prior to the start of renovation work (whenever this really will be)


  • Laser scanning of complete interior, exterior and surroundings of the organ, acoustical research
  • Delays due to the corona pandemic


  • Documentation of the finsh and historical surface of organ, organ loft and duke’s loft
  • Enlargement of the Advisory Board following new building regulations of the North German Lutheran Church, first narrowing of the options for the future of the organ, exclusion of a historic reconstructive approach (in the style of around 1780) or a simple renovation of the present material (1907, 1938, 1983)


  • A schme for restoration and redesign is being set up, first negotiations with conservation authorities
  • Preparation of a competition among organ builders to get suggestions for possible solutions and a rough idea of the financial dimensions
  • Research on the inner structure of the organ and the organ loft regarding static loads and capacity


  • Clearing some problems in the connection of the organ’s side-wings with the walls (planned)
  • Announcement of tender for the competition (planned)

This page shows articles dealing with the organ’s restoration. The need for it is documented here>. Find more about the organ’s and the church’s history on this page>.

Competition started

On 1st of March the application deadline for the planning competition for restoration and redesign of the organ of St. Mary’S Church ended. There were applications from three EU countries, showing the interest in that project.

Turn of the Year 2022-2023

Some minor developments at the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023

Third Meeting of the Advisory Board

On August 18, 2022, the Advisory Board held its third meeting.

Second Meeting of the Advisory Board

On March 24 2022, the advisory board met for the second time and discussed a scheme for the redesign of St. Mary’s organ

Extended Advisory Board

On 29 September 2021, the first meeting of the enlarged advisory board for the organ restoration project took place. The enlargement was initiated by new bulding laws of the Lutheran Church of North Germany. The members of the former advisory board have been integrated in the new one. This added to the fact that the…

Acoustic Research of Organ Situation

In the course of preparing the organ’s restoration, a more etailed research of acoustical characteristics of the organ case was undertaken.

Digital Measurement of St. Mary’s Organ completed

In the first half of 2020, the organ has been digitally captured inside and outside by laser

Drittes Treffen der Orgelkommission

Am 11. März 2020 trat die erste, kleine Orgelkommission zum dritten Mal zusammen.

10 Years ago: Symposium regarding the future of St. Mary’s organ

In November 2009, experts were invited to a Symposium regarding the future of the organ of St. Mary’s church of Rostock.

Meeting of the Advisory Board October 2019

In Oct 2019, the Advisory Board met for the 2nd time

Memo Nr 1

The organist’s personal thoughts from 18 Feb 2018

Memo Nr 2

The organist’s personal thoughts from 17 Jan 2019

Memo Nr 3

The organist’s personal thoughts from 26 Feb 2019

An Appeal from 2017

An introduction to the status report from 2017 (in German)

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