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The symphonic organ is a style of pipe organ which flourished during the first third of the twentieth century in town halls and other secular public venues (particularly in the United States and the UK). It is a variation of the classical pipe organ intended for the performance of orchestral transcriptions, which are serious orchestral classical musical works scored for pipe organ. The concert organ has seen a revival in the US, Europe and Japan in the latter part of the 20th and 21st century.
Ernest M. Skinner was a well-known American builder of symphonic organs. British builders included Henry Willis & Sons. The largest example is the Wanamaker Organ, installed in 1911 after having been exhibited at the St. Louis World's Fair. After being expanded, it currently has six manuals, ten divisions, 461 ranks, and 28,482 pipes, all powered by 36 regulators and fans totalling 168 hp.
An excellent example of a functional "symphonic organ" can be seen and heard at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Opus 1206, a magnificent Austin Pipe Organ with 5261 pipes, 81 ranks and 114 stops was first played on Feb. 12, 1925. The first city organist was the world renowned Edwin H Lemare. Led by the Chattanooga Music Club, the citizens of Chattanooga began the organ's restoration in 1987 and 20 years later, on July 2, 2007 it was rededicated at a concert performed by Peter Richard Conte.
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