Census IDTAO1931
LocationQingdao, St. Michael's Cathedral
BuilderRieger, Op. 2545
ActionPresumably electro-pneumatic, or pneumatic

Although the German Protestant community in Qingdao had an organ as early as 1910 in the iconic Jugendstyl DEK church (see TAO1909), the principal Roman Catholic church in the city, St. Michael’s, was itself only completed in 1934. A Rieger organ was ordered in 1931, built in Austria in 1932, and installed in 1934. The interesting Orgelbewegung-influenced specs were:

Man. I (C-g3)

Quintade 16′

Principal 8′

Salicional 8′

Hohlflöte 8′

Oktave 4′

Rohrflöte 4′

Quinte 2 2/3′

Oktave 2′

Kornett III-V

Mixtur V

Trompete 8′


Geigen Principal 8′

Lieblich Gedeckt 8′

Gamba 8′

Vox cœlestis 8′

Flûte harmonique 8′

Gemshorn 4′

Nachthorn 4′

Nazard 2 2/3′

Blockflöte 2′

Terz 1 3/5′

Cymbale III

Oboe 8′

Trompete 4′

Ped. (C-f1)

Violon 16′

Subbass 16′

Quintade 16′ (from I.)

Okatavbass 8′

Bassflöte 4′

Nachthorn 2′ (from II.)

Posaune 16′

Couplers Not known, but probably the usual assortment.
Accessories Schneller Tremolo on Man. II. Presumably a Swell pedal, and a Crescendo pedal, and various combination actions.

Anecdotal evidence collected by the Project in Qingdao in 2010 claimed that the organ had 2,400 pipes. But this excessive number cannot be right, and from the specs above it would seem a pipe count of ca. 1,000 would be about the total. Two of the pedal stops were extended from manual ranks. In the original design, the 4′ Trumpet on Man. II was to be a Regal 4′.

The organ survived the Second World War, and an interesting account can be found in: Thomas E. Crew. Combat Loaded: Across the Pacific on the USS Tate (College Station, TX: Texas A & M University Press, 2007), p. 155. It was destroyed in the Cultural Revolution, according to accounts collected by the Project in Qingdao. A new organ for the church (not a replica) was built in 2008 by Jaeger and Brommer, see TAO2008.

The Project is grateful to the Rieger firm, and Shanghai Pi Organ Industrial for the main image of the organ, probably taken in 1933 or 1934 at the Rieger works in Jägerndorf.

St. Michael’s, Qingdao, 1920s.