1993 was a wonderful year for those who own fine mechanical action organs in Central Massachusetts. The eminent, young German organbuilder, Stefan Maier, moved to the United States from France and started his own organ shop in Orange, Massachusetts. Finally there was someone in their locale the organists could trust to take care of such great instruments as the Taylor & Boody four manual organ at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, or the extraordinary three manual Fisk meantone organ at Wellesley College.
Stefan is also the curator for the organs at Boston College where he cares for two small Flentrop organs. He has worked on instruments built by von Beckerath and recently overhauled the Rieger organ at the Wellesley Congregational Church. At present he is building small instruments and restoring historic organs in addition to a busy schedule of maintenance and tuning work. His shop is located in Orange, Massachusetts.
Stefan began his organbuilding career in Bavaria (Germany) in 1982 where he received his basic training in mechanical action organs. In 1983 he began working with the Swiss organbuilder, Eddy Ottes, concentrating on perfecting skills in tonal finishing, scaling and tuning. He had the fortunate opportunity to work on the restoration of numerous historic instruments. As a result of working on the restoration of an organ built in Switzerland (now located in Ilgen, Germany) he decided to dedicate his life to the art of organbuilding.
In September 1984, he began his formal apprenticeship with the firm Stehle-Orgelbau in Haigerloch, Germany. The formal apprenticeship program in Germany has a curriculum which requires the study and application of the manufacture of all the components that make up a pipe organ. He concurrently received his theoretical training at the School for Organbuilders in Ludwigsburg. Upon successfully completing his exams at the School for Organbuilders in January of 1987, he was awarded the title of Geselle or Journeyman.
From 1987 to 1990, Stefan worked for the master organbuilder John Brombaugh, in Eugene, Oregon. Here he gained much experience in pipe making and worked closely with Mr. Brombaugh on devising temperaments and tuning systems. This work resulted in his development of a proprietary software program that uses a computer and an oscilloscope to accurately measure or/and set musical temperaments.
In March 1990, Stefan moved to the south of France where he began working with Manufacture Provencale D'Orgues in Carces. Here he became intimately acquainted with French organ literature and French organbuilding. He had the good fortune to restore an early Italian mechanical action organ for which he built a new spring chest from black walnut based on the specifications of the remains of the original chest. Then in 1992, he built his first original pipe organ for a client in Toulon, France.
His creativity and resourcefulness have attracted other “out of the box” jobs such as the I-manual organ that was constructed for the sailing yacht Antonisa. This instrument had to be suited for high humidity climates and withstand an unlikely but possible rollover of the vessel.
Since he established his own company, Stefan Maier Tracker Organs, here in 1993, it has steadily grown, servicing and rebuilding many fine instruments of numerous builders throughout New England. Stefan enjoys rendering his services to the small local country church as much as to prominent institutions such as Boston College, bringing to bear three decades of experience.
Our "spiderweb" logo is a representation of the division of the octave. More (much more) about temperaments, tuning, symetry and other cosmic laws...
Stefan Maier Tracker Organs