Pipe organs of surpassing beauty, flexibility, reliability and artistic merit
In each of our instruments, we focus on details large and small, thoughtfully developing a unified design that reconciles the sometimes competing requirements of musical goals, architecture, and budget.
Dobson Pipe Organ Builders Ltd was founded in Lake City, Iowa USA by Lynn A. Dobson in 1974. We have built almost 100 new instruments for churches, universities, concert halls and residences across the United States as well as in England and Australia. In addition, we have restored many historic mechanical-action instruments, and have rebuilt or restored pneumatic- and electric-action instruments.
Our goal in every commission is to design and construct pipe organs of surpassing beauty, flexibility, reliability and artistic merit. Our approach draws on a deep understanding of the common threads that connect the many historic organ traditions. As a result, our instruments have an evident integrity that honors the literature of many eras. Further, as something more than an assemblage of historic parts, our instruments not only render with fidelity centuries-old compositions but also stimulate the improviser and present-day composers, things that are too often lost today in the search for mere historical authenticity. Hallmarks of our firm are thoughtful and versatile specifications, beautiful voicing, sensitive key actions, creative case designs, sound business practices, and on-time deliveries. Meticulous craftsmanship is evident at every turn.
The artistic direction of each Dobson instrument is not preordained, but arrives through a natural and organic pursuit of designs that creatively respond to the requirements of function and placement. In each of our instruments, we focus on details large and small, thoughtfully developing a unified design that reconciles the sometimes competing requirements of musical goals, architecture, and budget.
Naturally, then, the resulting instruments have varied considerably—electric action here, mechanical there; heroic cases for some settings, organ chambers employed in others—but they all bear a family resemblance in their thoughtful design, peerless craftsmanship, painstaking voicing, first-class materials, and concern for tuning and long-term maintenance. As a result of this combination of artistic excellence and elegant execution, every one of the instruments we’ve built in our 47 years continues to give inspired and reliable service to their delighted owners. We encourage you to contact any of our previous clients for a testimonial.
Forthcoming projects include new instruments for the University of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa (III/51), St Christopher’s Church, Chatham, Massachusetts (II/32), and St James’ Church, King Street, Sydney, Australia.
Our workshop is composed of 23 craftspersons and specialists, working in an 1880s factory renovated by us in 1979. The Dobson firm is a member of the International Society of Organbuilders, and is currently serving as Vice President of the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, which it previously served as President (1985-1988). The company has received design awards from the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and chapters of the American Institute of Architects.