Situated in one of the most beautiful buildings in the centre of the city, the Organ Hall from Chisinau is a leading cultural and artistic institution of the Republic of Moldova whose activity has a crucial meaning in the capital’s cultural life. Due to a series of important events (festivals, contests etc.) it even has an international importance.
The aim of the institution is to organize concert seasons in order to promote the values of both universal and national classical music by the contribution of instrumental and vocal performers from the country and from abroad. Apart from the organ music, which is specific for this concert hall, the spectators have the opportunity to listen to the performances of the National Chamber Orchestra (founded in the framework of the Organ Hall) with notorious soloists. There are also many instrumental, vocal, chamber ensembles recitals, various literary-musical manifestations, fine art exhibitions, concerts dedicated to some notorious personalities (composers, performers, poets, writers etc.) held in this institution.
The building of the Organ Hall has a unique beauty. It is an architecture monument, taken under the auspices of the state. Designed and built at the end of the 19th century – the beginning of the 20th century by the engineer Mihail CECHERU-CUSH, the Organ Hall impresses by its monumental forms executed prevalently in classic style, also containing some elements of the romantic art. The cupola and the sculptural groups confer to the image of the building exceptional artistic expressiveness. Before 1974 the building hosted different financial institutions, including the National Bank.
In the 70s of the last century a group of intellectuals initiated by the conductor Timofei GURTOVOI (1919-1981), people’s artist and first conductor of the Philharmonic Symphonic Orchestra, promoted the idea of building a new concert hall with an organ inside. The idea was supported by the state administration, which decided to reconstruct interior of the bank in order to adjust it for a concert hall of chamber and organ music. The building was reconstructed by I. LEONCENCO, the principal architect of the reconstruction works, with the contribution of D. LEVIT, chief engineer, S. LEBEDEV, principal architecture of the city, D. GOLIŢOV, the chief of the specialised department from the Ministry of Culture, L. GRIGORAŞENCO, C. LODZEISCHI, A. ŞUBIN, (painters) and L. DUBINOVSCHI, (sculptor) between the years 1975-1978. L. DUBINOVSCHI is also the author of the sculptural portraits of great composers, such as J.S. BACH, W.A. MOZART, G.F. HÄNDEL, P. TCHAIKOVSKI, G. ENESCU, St. Neaga located in the hall. All the reconstruction works were done with the support of I. BODIUL who was prime secretary of the Central Committee of the leading party of those times, i.e. the first leading person in the Republic’s administration hierarchy.
There were also invited specialists from other places to take part in the reconstruction works: the parquetry was made in the West of Ukraine, the ceiling ornaments were made in Odessa, the white chairs, upholstered with velvet , were covered with gold by masters from St-Petersburg, who were specialised in restoring the royal palaces from Petergof and Tsarskoe Selo (there have been used 900 g of gold), the chandeliers of precious crystal were made in the Czech Republic.
The organ, installed in this magnificent hall, was made at the “Rieger-Kloss” company from the Czech city Krnov, a factory with strong traditions, well known for the instruments it produces, which are installed in many cities of the world. The Organ from Chisinau is an electromechanical one, of medium size, containing about 4000 pipes their height being from 15 cm to 5, 5 m in 55 registers.
It was on the 15 th of September, 1978 that the organ first sounded during the Organ Hall inauguration concert. At this event the following musicians took part: the organ performer Svetlana BODIUL, merited artist, Maria BIEŞU (soprano) and Ion JOSAN (cello performer), people’s artists and the Academic choir „DOINA”, conducted by Veronica GARŞTEA, people’s artist.
That day marked the beginning of the Organ Hall’s history, institution that gradually became a veritable Euterpe’s temple. During 25 years of Organ Hall’s activity, distinguished musicians, orchestras and ensembles from the former USSR republics, such as the chamber orchestra „MOSCOW VIRTUOSI”, conducted by V. SPIVAKOV, the Chamber Choir from Moscow, conducted by V. MININ, the ”MADRIGAL” ensemble of the Moscow Philharmonic, The Moscow State Chamber Orchestra, conducted by V. TRETIAKOV, the ancient music ensemble „HORTUS MUSICUS” from Tallinn (Estonia), the chamber orchestras from Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Armenia, the soloists Z. SOTIKLAVA, D. HVOROSTOVSKI, A. DNISHEV, E. OBRAZTSOVA, I. ARHIPOVA, Yu. BASHMET, E. VIRSALADZE, V. GORNOSTAEVA, V. KRAINEV and N. PETROV performed on its stage. Organists E. LISITSINA, O. IANCENKO, V. STAMBOLTSIAN were often invited to perform in the Organ Hall, but the most attached to the organ was H.GROBERG. During the years, here were active as permanent organists: Svetlana BODIUL (currently established in Malta), Olga BABAGIAN (established in Romania) and Marina ZAGORSCHI (established in Germany). From the grand opening of the hall till the present, evolves the organist Ana STREZEVA.
In the last years Organ Hall receives many performers and artistic groups from abroad: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Romania, Czech Republic, USA, China, Canada, Cuba, Brazil, Israel, Turkey, Switzerland, South Korea, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Great Britain ... On this scene were the evolutions of famous performers: the pianists N. PETROV, O. MAISENBERG, E. KUNZ, E.MIHAILOV, D.BORȘAN, V.MOROIANU, D.GRIGORE, violinists M.ASŞVILI, L. ISAKADZE, O.KRYSA, A.MUSAHODJAEVA, G.CROITORU, A.TOMESCU, cellists N.GUTMAN, B.ANDRIANOV, A.NICULESCU, A.IONIȚĂ, L.BURUIANĂ, A.RUDIN, V.KNEAZEV, guitarists D.ILLARIONOV, R.HORNA, A.VINIŢKI, E.FINKELSHTEIN, M.RADIUKEVICI, S.RAK, as well as interpreters of aero phonic instruments, organists and opera singers. Together with the classical chamber ensembles and bands, they have been successfully performing jazz, folkloric, non-traditional or vintage instruments.
There are many festivals, contests and exhibitions held every year in the Organ Hall. The most important of them are: International Music Festival the „Martisor”, the International Festival "J.S. Bach", the International Festival "Pianist Nights", New Music Days, National Competition "A. Lucinschi", other national and international competitions of instrumentalists and vocalists. Apart from moldavian spectators, the Organ Hall is visited by many tourists who are interested in this architecture monument and listening the organ music. International contest laureates and performers with state awards are those who perform the most often on the stage of the Organ Hall, according to its status. Meanwhile the gifted young musicians are encouraged to perform on this stage in the framework of a series of concerts with the generic of “Young Talents”, which are organised especially for them.
The Organ Hall from Chisinau is also noted for its perfect acoustics, which allows various recordings to be made; many concerts are broadcast live by the Teleradio-Moldova Company and by the private companies of television and radio. The institution is also equipped with valuable musical instruments, including 3 harpsichords, pianos concert "Yamaha", "Bechstein", "Steinway".
As a concert institution, the Organ Hall has an artistic department, equipped with modern equipment. There are produced advertising billboards and posters, there are made programs that contain information about the performers and annotations about the musical works performed in the concert.
Over the years, the directors of the Organ Hall of different periods - Mihail MURZAC, Ludmila TANMOŞAN, Igor BOLBOCEANU , as well as Larisa ZUBCU, the current director of the Organ Hall, contributed to the prosperity of this cultural institution.
The majority of the guests who had the opportunity to visit this hall and to perform on its stage mention that the Organ Hall from Chisinau is one of the most beautiful concert halls from Europe and even from all over the world. We can strongly affirm that the Organ Hall from Chisinau is worth to be proud of and represents a veritable jewel for our people and country.