The oldest elements of an organ in Brussels are some parts of the of the 1680 case at Saints-Jean-et-Étienne aux Minimes and of the 1764 case of Notre-Dame au Sablon. But the oldest instruments actually kept in use (and recently skillfully restored) are the Bernhard Dreymann 1840 organ of the Temple du Musée (II/15) and the Hippolyte Loret 1856 organ of Notre-Dame du Finistère (III/29).
In the nineteenth century Brussels was an important center for organ-building, thanks to Joseph Merklin, who established his atelier in a suburb of the city in 1843, and his successor Pierre Schyven, who built the 1874 organ of Notre-Dame de Laeken (III/51), enlarged in 1911 by Adrien Van Bever, successor of Hippolyte Loret, and his brother Salomon who had been apprentice with Cavaillé-Coll in Paris.
Recently, two very important instruments were added to the Brussels organ scene: in the Cathedral, Gerhard Grenzing placed a monumental instrument (IV/62) inaugurated in 2000, and in 2017, the large concert hall of the Palais des Beaux-Arts saw the dedication festival of a long awaited IV/60 organ by Georg and Andreas Westenfelder, Bernard Hurvy and Olivier Robert.
When the 1880 Cavaillé-Coll III/44 organ of the Conservatoire concert hall will be restored, Brussels will be able to claim to be an European capital of the organ!
Hippolyte Loret organ
Church of Our Lady of Finisterræ
Temple du Musée
GEORG WESTENFELDER /
JEAN-Baptiste BernabÉ Goynaut
Notre-Dame des Victoires au Sablon