Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, is home to C. B. Fisk's Opus 148, a two-manual, 22-stop instrument. Tonal models for the instrument include the organs of the 16th-century Antegnati family of Italian builders and the organs of the 18th- and 19th-century Serassi family. The organ is placed on one side at the front of the beautiful neo-Gothic limestone Centennial Chapel on the Cathedral campus. The intimate 100-seat Chapel has undergone a comprehensive transformation in conjunction with the organ project. The acoustical consultant for the renovation was Dana Kirkegaard. Mr. Kirkegaard also worked closely with Fisk voicers to determine the optimal placement for the organ’s divisions within the case.
Director of Music Stephan Casurella and Associate Director of Music Shiloh Roby preside over an ambitious music program that contributes regularly to the rich worship life of the Cathedral. In addition, a series of organ recitals, as well as weekly “Music Live at Lunch” performances, are offered to the public, adding to the vivid and varied cultural life in Cincinnati.
In November 2014, Fisk personnel, together with Dr. Casurella and Harold Byers, Chairman of the Cathedral’s Music Committee, embarked on a 10-day research trip to northern Italy in preparation for the designing of the instrument. The internationally acclaimed organist, harpsichordist, and conductor Francesco Cera organized the itinerary and accompanied us throughout the journey, ably demonstrating each organ we visited. This research trip proved invaluable to both the tonal and visual designs of Opus 148.
The organ was dedicated on October 17, 2018 with a recital by Francesco Cera, followed by master classes, a panel discussion, lectures, and a re-creation of a 17th century Roman Vespers Service.