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Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ

Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ Facts

The Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1981. The group was formed in response to the City of Portland pulling funding from the Organ due to financial woes. The group's responsibilities include "raising funds, presenting concerts and educational programs and engaging the services of a Municipal Organist."

The Kotzschmar Organ was a gift to the City of Portland from publishing magnate Cyrus Curtis. The organ was built by the Austin Organ company of Hartford, Connecticut, and was the second biggest in the world upon installation in Portland City Hall Auditorium, also known as the Merrill Auditorium, in 1912. It was enlarged by the same company in 1927. Several pipes had to be removed during the 1968 renovations to the building, but they were replaced in 1997.

The Kotzschmar Organ resides in Merrill Auditorium, a 1900 seat performance hall in Portland, Maine. The Auditorium was built in 1912, the same year the Organ was gifted. Merrill Auditorium has since seen several renovations, with the most recent being in 1997.