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On this page you find some articles regarding our philosopy.

Developments after the work of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, in the past, the present and the future

by J.L. van den Heuvel

This article was published in German, English and French in the ISO (International
Society of Organbuilders) Journal, 1999 and is available as pdf:


extracts from:

Our development towards a new symphonic organ

by J.L. van den Heuvel

These extracts where published in the Organist' Review and explane some of Van den Heuvel's philosophy in detail. The article is only in English, available as pdf:



What we do

Pipeorgans of all sizes

The reputation of the Van den Heuvel Orgelbouw Company is established world-wide. Famous are huge 32’ organ installations in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

But the Van den Heuvel staff, organ designers, builders, voicers and tuners do not only consider large church and concert organs as fully valid music instruments: they plan, build, restore and maintain the smaller pipe organs with the same utmost care!

6 stops                                            restauration, 6 stops                                5 stops

Small Church Organs, Choir Organs, Practice Organs, Residence Organs etc. are an important field of the production too and also have an excellent reputation.

17 stops                                                     11 stops                                                      9 stops

Each pipe organ built in the Van den Heuvel ateliers is made individually and adjusted to the very special demands of the customer. Many circumstances are taken into consideration:

  • The design of the church, hall or room
  • The measures of the church, hall or room
  • The integration of the organ in the church, hall or room (sympathetic architectural design, colour and texture)
  • The sound and technical characteristics considering the wishes of organists, organ expert(s) and last but not least, the principal
  • The specific (liturgical) features and demands are a very important point of departure
  • The (room)acoustics and the (optimal)location for the organ
  • The financial possibilities of the principal

In the assembly hall: building small (24 stops) and large (51 stops) organs.

In the area of artistic organ design and handcraftsmanship Van den Heuvel Orgelbouw offer you the finest. Every part of an instrument can be analysed, touched and heard with equal admiration for material, workmanship and exquisite tonal beauty. Each instrument is a product of the dedicated learned and disciplined spirit.

Workshop buildings and small assembly hall                                       The big assembly hall

There are different possibilities for you to let us elaborate an individual pipe organ design to your specific wishes:

  1. Call us by phone (international + 31 78 6 17 95 40) and make a date with us. So we will visit the planned organ site in order to take measures and investigate the circumstances as described above. You will understand that the customer must pay any flight and hotel costs: but these costs will be deducted from the contracted sum if the organ will be ordered.
  2. Send us a fax (international + 31 78 6 18 12 28) and we will contact you.
  3. Write us a letter:
    attn. Jan & Peter van den Heuvel
    Amstelwijckweg 44
    NL-3316 BB Dordrecht

    and we will contact you.
  4. Send us an e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Maintenance and Tuning

After the building or restoration of a pipe organ we offer to help, as we see customer relations as extremely important. Objective, clear advice and perfect maintenance of organs, built or restored by us (or by one of our colleagues!), is a must whereby we always have the intention to prevent the customer for financial, unexpected hitches.

Besides Van den Heuvel organs we maintain and overhauled many organs built by well known colleagues:


We use to offer our (regular) customers a very interesting tuning and maintenance contract whereby discount on labour costs is related to the number of agreed general tuning services.

Normally it is enough to do a main tuning service once every two or three year. An interim tuning and eventual technical maintenance of course can be ordered between. As usual the Van den Heuvel staff, tuners and technicians will do their utmost to do all works considering your wishes concerning special concert dates!

Major maintenance jobs

An organ should be cleaned each 15 or 20 years. The frequency however depends on the dust and other circumstances at the organ site. For cleaning of the organ, we remove all pipes in order to clean the technical parts at the interior and exterior. After re-installation in the organ, the voicing of all pipes will be optimised.

If you have any wishes or questions concerning tuning, re-voicing, technical maintenance, or cleaning of your pipe organ, please contact Peter A. van den Heuvel.


J.L. van den Heuvel Orgelbouw
will be glad to advice and serve you!



ridderkerkFrom early childhood Van den Heuvel felt a special affinity with symphonic organ music. At the age of sixteen he went to work for Flentrop in Zaandam in the Netherlands. He persisted in his championship of the romantic organ in the face of Flentrop's neo-baroque ideals and finally in 1967 he registered himself as an independant organ builder. At that time he was twenty which made hime the youngest organ builder in the Netherlands.
In that same year, Jan constructed his first organ (one manual and pedal, 10 stops) which recieved immediate admiration for its melodious voicing and solid mechanical construction. The actual construction activities took place in part of his fathers workshop as painter. As a result of the numerous positive reactions, Jan was commissioned to build a new three manual organ of 32 stops for the Singelkerk at Ridderkerk. This was a fantastic opportunity for the young organbuilder, as he was not only responsible for the design and construction of the instrument, but he also made the richly profiled organcase and woodcarvings.

strijenThe contract for this organ necessitated the expansion of the workshop, thus a spacious new building (designed by Jan himself) was erected adjacent to the old workshop. The delivery of the Singelkerk organ occurred in 1972 and was an unqualified success, attracting thousands of people and generating a revenue of written praise. This was proceeded by a multitude of orders for construction of new and restoration of older organs.
In 1975, an organ with 33 stops was delivered to the St. Lambertus church in Strijen - the first of three organs built on behalf of this parish. The same year marked the joining of the 17 year old Peter A. van den Heuvel to the company. Peter received his training from his brother Jan and a year later he built his first organ. Again it was necessary to expand the workshops.

acc smallIn addition to the organ building principles derived from the traditions as practiced in the Netherlands, both Jan and Peter were for a number of years interested in nineteenth century Frensh organbuilding. Their contact with French organists as Michelle Leclerc and Daniel Roth spurred them on futher studies on the Cavaillé-Coll organs. This led to numerous visits to France, not only to study and evaluate the larger and famous representatives of Cavaille-Coll's oeuvre (like St. Sulpice, Notre-Dame and Sacré-Coeur in Paris), but also included many of his smaller instruments.
Meticulous measurements were made which was followed by a study of tonal design and construction in the workshops in Dordrecht. The findings were intended for purpose of inspiration - and not imitation - as means of orientation in order to create their own type of organs, completely inspired by the symphonic organ.

A particularly significant commission was to construct the organ for the Nieuwe Kerk in Katwijk aan Zee. Many ideas developed over the years would find their way into this instrument. In 1993, Daniel Roth opened the series of presentation concerts marking the initiation of this huge four manual instrument. The audiences as well as the artists were very welcoming of this magnificent organ and this resulted again in many contracts.
katwijk speeltafelAs a result of a European competition the Van den Heuvel's were in invit, in 1985, to provide a new prestigious five manual organ for the St. Eustache, Paris, which became the largest of France. The reputation of the Van den Heuvel company was now established worldwide.
After the sensational organ of St. Eustache, Van den Heuvel built in the past years other important instruments in Geneva, London, New York, Munich and in Stockholm.

On the next page...