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date: 31 May 2020


  • Adri de Groot


Dutch firm of organ builders. The firm, based in Heerde, was founded by the German-born Johann Reil (b Munich, 6 April 1907; d Zwolle, 5 May 1960). Inspired by the Orgelbewegung Johann built mainly mechanical organs and undertook the restoration of several old instruments. Subsequently the firm was taken over by Johann’s sons, Johann (Han) Ludwig Reil (b Heerde, 21 April 1939) and Wicher Albertus (Albert) Reil (b Heerde, 16 July 1942).

The celebrations held in Groningen in 1969 on the 250th anniversary of the death of Arp Schnitger caused Han and Albert to rethink entirely their firm’s approach to organ building. They resolved to build organs in accordance with historical practice, and set about learning how to do so by making copies of three organs: the 1701 Schnitger organ of Uithuizen (1973, Princess Juliana Church, Scheveningen); the 1734 Bielfeldt organ of Osterholz-Scharmbeck (...

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