Surrounded by moats and beautiful gardens Paffendorf Castle is to be found just some twenty miles west of Cologne. It is there where we settle the
– and we invite you to spend an inspiring autumn weekend with artists of international reputation acquainting you with a mostly neglected instrument: the Harmonium or reed organ.

These instruments played an important role in musical life throughout the late 19th and early 20th century.

The pressure harmonium was appreciated in both sacred an secular music as „orgue expressif“ for its wide dynamic range realized by the so called Expression, whereas the suction reed organ was mostly to be found in middle-class homes as a low cost keyboard for those who could not afford a piano. After all, you had to play the music by yourself for lack of a turntable.

Our festival aims at opening your eyes (and especially your ears) to get familiar with both types of construction. Compositions written primarily for the harmonium will find their historically informed performances at the festival but we will also show the manifold sound nuances of both types of instruments and the wide range of possible applications in all kinds of music – without any prejudice.