Harrison organs stand firmly in the British musical tradition. Our distinctive sound is based on 150 years of experience and development. The firm is proud of its history and continues to set a high value on traditional skills; but it is also forward-looking in the development of new designs and techniques.
Our experience of building new organs for a wide range of climates around the world has led us to develop robust mechanisms that are responsive and durable, and we expect our instruments to have serviceable lives that can be measured in centuries.
We are known for painstaking research into the history of the instruments we restore. Above all, our work is distinguished by the meticulous attention we give to the artistic personality of each instrument, whether large or small, new or old.
Until 1996 H&H occupied a workshop in the centre of Durham. With subsequent enlargement this served the firm well until 1996, when we moved to a new, purpose-built workshop two miles away. This award-winning workshop is notable for its pleasant and congenial working conditions, and was extended in 2018.
The firm trains many of its own craftsmen, several from school-leaving age, and many are recruited from the Durham area. One result of this stability and continuity is the friendly and informal atmosphere immediately noticeable in the workshop.
Our skilled organ builders are the foundation of our success, and many of them stay with us throughout their working lives.
While we remain true to our British traditions – Arthur Harrison would still recognise the colourful and meticulously blended sound of a modern Harrison organ – an awareness of international trends and techniques has been augmented in recent years by interaction with craftsmen from other countries.
With a staff of more than 40, we are one of the largest firms of organ builders internationally: a fact which, though unimportant in itself, might surprise even our ambitious founder. Looking to the future, we are proud of our apprentice training programme.