The University of Vermont

UVM Four-Stop Portative Organ Travels around the State

UVM's University Organist, Music Prof. David Neiweem, recently presented a series of duo-organ concerts in churches in Burlington, Middlebury, and Montpelier. The concerts featured the organs in each concert venue, as well as the university's four-stop portative pipe organ. Neiweem joined the organist at each of the churches, and shared a program that included performances by each organist as well as music for two organs.

The university's "portative" (pronounced "por-tah-TEEF") organ is a small pipe organ designed for beauty and flexibility of sound, and easy transport. The organ was built in 2001 by Dutch builder Henk Klop, and acquired by the University in 2005.

It consists of a single "split" keyboard that can play seven different stops or groups of pipes. There are nearly 200 pipes built into a cabinet the size of a small office desk. The organ was designed to play solo and chamber music from the Renaissance through the Baroque periods. It is particularly intended to serve as part of a baroque orchestra.

According to Neiweem, "The UVM Klop organ is a great tool to expose audiences to live pipe-organ music in different settings. The focus when you play this instrument is on the inherent beauty of the sound of a set of tuned pipes playing great keyboard music. Audiences can also see in front of them the wonderful engineering of a fine pipe organ."

Vermont organists Mark Howe, Jeffrey Buettner, and Arthur Zorn shared the program on the organs in their respective churches. Neiweem brought in the Klop portative organ and played works by composers Frescobaldi, Frohberger, Scheidt, and Scheidemann. Each concert also featured works for two organs by Antonio Soler.

The tour was co-sponsored by the Vermont Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the University of Vermont. The concerts presented a unique and exciting listening experience for audiences and featured some of the great organs in Vermont.

To hear Professor Neiweem play the Klop organ, listen to this live performance recorded in the VPR studios on January 8, 2009: Neiweem can also be seen playing the organ at:

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