Virtual Tour of Rieger Orgelbau

Click on photo to start tour. Click on photo to view organ specs.
Rieger Factory Sunyside Church
The Rieger Orgelbau Factory; Swarzach, Austria The Rieger organ at Sunnyside SDA Church; Portland Oregon

In September, 1987 I travelled to England, Germany and Austria. During my visit to Austria, I had the opportunity of seeing the Rieger Orgelbau factory in Swarzach. Swarzach is just outside the town of Bregenz on Lake Constance in Voralberg, the westernmost district, of Austria.

At that time an instrument was being constructed for my congregation, the Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church in Portland, Oregon, USA. I saw several of the parts of our instrument under construction during my visit.

The Rieger History web pages feature an account of the firm's more than 150 year history. The link here is to the English version.

These pictures and their story were presented as a slide show to the congregation during the erecting of the instrument (while the front of the church was a shambles!) They were shown in poster form during the inaugural concert series.

The organ was installed in the summer of 1988. Photo of the completed instrument and instrument specifications are here.

Note that the opinions expressed here are my own and in no way represent those of Rieger Orgelbau, nor any of its personnel.

I am most grateful to Christoph Glatter-Götz who allowed me free run of his factory for one exciting day. I have tried to capture what I saw in these pages.

  1. Schwarzach - The village in western Austria where the modern Rieger factory is located.
  2. Wood - Raw lumber used for both wooden pipes and for cabinetwork, chests, keyboards, pedals, etc.
  3. Wood Pipes  - The large pipes made from wood
  4. Metal Pipes - The pipes made from Lead and Tin, cast in the Rieger factory.
  5. Voicing - The special art of finishing, tuning, and adjusting the tone of each pipe.
  6. Reeds - Making brass reeds and fitting them to their special pipes.
  7. Keys & Pedals - The keyboards and pedsls used by the player, and the special mechanics linking them to the pipes.
  8. Piston Actions - The mechanisms used by the player to control which ranks of pipes are selected.
  9. Cabinetwork - The beautiful cases which enclose the entire instrument.
  10. Packing - Carefully preparing the thousands of pieces for shipment to installations around the world.
Virtual Tour of Rieger Orgelbau © 1999 Richard Crowley