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date: 14 April 2021


  • Barbara Owen


American firm of organ builders. It was founded in New York by George Kilgen (b Merchingen, nr Osterburken, Germany, 19 March 1821; d St Louis, MO, 6 Dec 1902), who had been apprenticed to Louis Voit (1802–83) in Durlach, Germany. Kilgen emigrated to the USA with a group of political refugees in 1848, finding employment with the Jardine firm before he established his own firm in 1851. In 1873 he moved his company to St Louis, where it prospered. In 1886 the firm became George Kilgen & Son when Charles Christian Kilgen (b New York, 22 April 1859; d St Louis, 6 May 1932) joined as a partner. The firm's most distinguished work dates from the period of the latter's presidency, and includes instruments for St Patrick's Cathedral, New York (1928), and St Justin's Church, Hartford, Connecticut (1932).

After the death of Charles Christian, dissension broke out between his sons Alfred (...

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