Introduction by the President of ISO
The organ was invented over 2000 years ago and since then it has been evolving constantly. The mission of today's organ builder is to watch over and preserve these important cultural values by restoring historical instruments for future generations
At the same time, creative planning and searching for new horizons is an important part of our work on every continent as we build new pipe organs, which are also considered true works of art, for churches, concert halls, music schools or private homes.
Since its founding in Amsterdam in 1957, the International Society of Organbuilders (ISO) has been the nexus for professional organ builders. Its goal is to promote an atmosphere in which professionals might find a forum for sharing knowledge and discussing professional concerns; an exchange of information in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
The ISO stands for high quality pipe organs and encourages creativity through exploring a variety of different styles and methods. Today the ISO is made up of about 300 firms in 36 countries around the world.
The ISO organizes different workshops held in a variety of locations. Their main purpose is to expand and deepen our knowledge of organ building related topics. The ISO also fosters the exchange of apprentices and officials.
Every two years members organize a week-long Congress in which we discuss the specific features of organs and builders in their respective countries. This is an ideal time for all those who attend to get to know the organs of a specific country, the organ builders and their families, and to make new international friends in a convivial atmosphere.
In 2006, the Congress took place in and around Madrid and was well attended. In 2007, an additional Jubilee congress was held in Amsterdam to celebrate the founding of ISO there in 1957. One highlight of the Congress programme was, on 8 September 2007, an international symposium, "How to win new friends for the pipe organ", in which different organisations participated in an intense and very interesting exchange of ideas on organbuilding.
The regular congress in 2008 took place in Gdansk/Danzig, Poland and in Stralsund, Germany (www.pomerania2008.com). In August 2010, the ISO congress (organised together with the American Institute of Organbuilders) took place in Montreal; and for 2012 a Congress in Switzerland is planned.
Our professional magazine, the ISO Journal, is issued three times a year in French, English and German. It has more than 500 subscribers outside the ISO. This makes it is an important medium of communication between organ builders and those interested in, or involved with, the organ worldwide.
A Board of four elected members governs the ISO: one president, two vice presidents and a treasurer as well as five appointed members, including the magazine editor and the publisher. There is also a secretary who is in charge of ordinary business matters and correspondence.