Many organ builders work at Flentrop all their lives.
Apart from these very experienced people we also have some young talents with us.
We invest in people in order to pass on our expertise, experience and skills and we feel it is important to contribute in that way to the rich organ culture in the Netherlands.
As jurisdiction is based on the law, but justice is only found in the courts when judgement is pronounced, and, similarly, music may be written down but only comes to life when it is performed, so it is in organ building.
Theories, dimensions, scaling and detailed drawings are of the greatest importance but true insight into organ building is found only in the workshops where organs are built.
That is of course why we like to invite potential clients to come and visit our workshops.
We want to make sure that the building and restoration of organs keeps being carried out at top level. We are very pleased that an increasing number of our employees are also active as musicians.
The following people are all employees of Flentrop Orgelbouw:
Assembler; with us since 1968.
Ko has worked as an assembler on the most diverse types of organs. He worked in places like Jakarta, Tokyo and many places in the USA.
If it moves, you need Ko! He is the specialist on the action.
involved in making the Barkermachines for Oostende and the
Cavaillé-Coll organ in the Philharmonie in Haarlem.
Ko worked, to mention two instances, on the restoration of the antique case of the Strümphler cabinet of the Bachvereniging in Naarden, and on the restoration of the choir organ in Alkmaar.
From 1976 to 1986 he built a new organ (II/P/15) with Frits Elshout and two members of the congregation of the Gereformeerde Gemeente in Zaandam. He regularly plays this organ during the services.
Ko retired in 2012, but is regularly available and active for instruction colleagues etc.
Advisor (retired), with us since 1971.
After finishing High School in the United States, Frits was employed by Flentrop as a pipe maker. He worked as a voicer on many projects, including both organs in the Laurenskerk in Alkmaar, the Sint Jan in Den Bosch, the Westerkerk in Amsterdam, and on the re-voicing of the Müller organ in the St. Bavo in Haarlem.
Frits's thorough knowledge of the construction of organ pipes, especially of tongues, is of invaluable help in his work as a voicer.
In 1998 he was became Deputy Director, with all
voicing activities under his supervision. From the death of Cees van
Oostenbrugge on December 10, 2008 to January 1, 2016, Frits has led the
company as managing director. The organ was delivered in Hamburg under
From 1 January 2016, Frits transferred the management of Flentrop to
Erik Winkel, in order to have more time to transfer his wealth of
experience and skills in intonation to the upcoming generation of
intonators. He remained involved in the management as artistic
director. Frits retired in spring 2019, but he remains actively
involved as an advisor. In his spare time Frits Elshout is active as a
Pipe- and reed maker; with us since 1973.
In the 70s, Jur collaborated with Frits on the development of our own reed stops. During some years he acted as head of the pipe workshop.
As the specialist in this area, Jur worked on the special reed stops construction of the Trumpet for the choir organ in Alkmaar, and the turned metal blocks for the free reeds of Sint Oedenrode.
The making of the Contra Trombone 32 foot for Dublin, too, was a very special experience.
Organ builder; with us since 1976.
Rob is a specialist in the field of fine woodcraft.
Rob built several organ cases, as well as the keyboard and cheeks of the main organ in the Laurenskerk in Alkmaar and those for the four-keyboard Flentrop organ in Chicago.
Voicer; with us since 1976.
One of Jan's projects was the new cabinet organ in Buren and the Cavaillé-Coll organ in Haarlem.
The inauguration of the organ in the Lambertuskirche in Essen was a special moment for Jan, because it coincided with his birthday.
Jan is the organist of the Spieghelkerk in Bussum.
Assembler/pipe maker; with us since 1979.
Paul was trained as an organ builder in Germany.
He worked on the assembly of various organ projects abroad, for instance in Chicago, Dunblane, Essen and Kazan. He recently worked as a pipe maker when making a new front for an existing organ in London.
Draughtsman; with us since 1985.
Michel worked as a cabinet maker and assembler on location for the organs in Kazan, Essen, Frille and Dunblane.
He also built the geometrically complicated case for the new organ in the Enschede Music Centre.
When he was assembling in Enschede a local carpenter said: "You've got it easy, you get it all delivered!" Michel decided to take it as a compliment.
At the moment he is working as a draughtsman on the introduction of three-dimensional computer drawing. He has also supplied some impressive hand-drawn presentation drawings.
Organ builder; with us since 1987.
Martien came to us as an experienced organ builder when the firm Vermeulen Alkmaar was taken over by Flentrop.
He started off as a tuner. Later he worked as an assembler on the new organ in the Enschede Music Centre, and as a restorer on the Knipscheer organs in the Jeroenskerk in Noordwijk-Binnen and the Noorderkerk in Amsterdam.
He has been a workshop manager since 2006.
Organ builder; with us since 1990.
From the first, Geert has specialised in wind chest building.
He enjoys working abroad: in Eslöv he assembled the revised Flentrop organ from 1952, and in New York he worked on the optimisation of the organ of Queens College.
Geert's other activities, as a guitar and violin builder, testify to his broad interests.
Administrator; with us since 1991.
Ed is responsible for the administrative side of projects, personnel and finances. He is always able to present the current state of affairs if and when necessary.
On occasion Ed will act as a driver or pilot (he is licensed to fly!), or he may give a hand on location, where he will also gladly play the odd tune now and then.
Voicer; with us since 1991.
Jan is a Conservatoire graduate. As a voicer he works in the Netherlands and abroad.
His most prestigious work was the restoration of the Van Meere organ in the Hervormde Kapel in Noordwijk aan Zee.
He is the regular organist at the Zuiderkerk in Enkhuizen.
Organ builder; with us since 1991.
Marcel is our wind supply specialist. He restored, for instance, the seven wedge bellows of the J.H.H. Bätz organ in the Lutherse Kerk in The Hague, and before that he had reconstructed the wind trunks and bellows of the Cavaillé-Coll organ in Haarlem.
A special detail was the reconstruction of the harmonicas with tracker wires, sections of which were discovered close to the organ.
Marcel managed to re-use even the most worn-out parts and got the new harmonicas to fit in seamlessly with the existing ones.
Tuner and voicer; with us since 1993.
Head of maintenance since March of 2010.
Rinus lives in Sprang-Capelle and has worked as a tuner/voicer, mostly in the southern parts of the Netherlands.
If asked to select a few highlights, he would mention the voicing of the organs in Middelburg (Nieuwe Kerk) and Elst (St. Maartenskerk). In addition, his work on the Flentrop organ at Seitoku University near Tokyo and the installation of the Flentrop organ in St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Wellington (NZ) are very special to him.
Managing director; with us since 1998.
Erik came to Flentrop when he had finished his studies in Civil Engineering in Delft. He has worked on several reconstructions, such as the Smits organ in Sint Oedenrode, and the Cavaillé-Coll organ in Haarlem.
By researching all the traces, Erik managed to discover the original situation in, for instance, the Noorderkerk in Amsterdam and in the organ case of Scheemda now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
He likes to reminisce on the making of photogrammetric reconstruction drawings of the front of the Catharinen organ in Hamburg. Afterwards, he was involved intensively with the research and preparation of the reconstruction project of this organ, and with the realisation of the first building stage.
From January 2009, he was Deputy Director responsible for the
planning and implementation of all instruments. January 1, 2016, Erik
was appointed managing director.
He is active as an amateur singer and (continuo) organist.
Organ builder/assembler; joined us in 1999. Michel passed away at the end of 2013 after a debilitating illness.
In 1998 Michel completed a successful apprenticeship as a student cabinet maker. Since then he has developed into a flexible and versatile organ builder who has worked regularly on various assembly jobs.
He was involved in the assemblies at Queens College, New York, the Paul Gerhardtkirche in Berlin and in Sint Niklaas in Belgium.
Voicer; with us since 2000.
Before Dick came to Flentrop he had a flourishing career as a professional musician. He is an organist as well as a composer, and he has several CDs to his name as a recording technician.
Dick's enthusiastic approach sometimes results in concerts or recordings, for instance in Goes and in Landskrona.
The most photogenic moment was the cleaning and voicing check of the organ in the Sint Jan in Den Bosch. From the scaffolding the details of the magnificent organ case were clearly seen; a unique view.
Dick regularly voices in Sweden, the United States and Japan.
Pipe maker; with us since 2000.
Jeroen became our colleague after an in-house pipe maker training at Flentrop. He is also an expert in casting the metal plates for organs.
One of his best memories as a pipe maker is the first Dulcian he made all by himself for Middenbeemster.
Jeroen is the organist of the Doopsgezinde Gemeente in Wormer.
Voicer/pipe maker; with us since 2003.
In 1997, Yu moved from Japan to Holland. After her Conservatoire studies she started work in the pipe building section of Flentrop. Yu is at present working on the voicing of the Flaes organ in Wormerveer and the Westzijderkerk in Zaandam.
She is particularly proud of her restoration and voicing activities on the Quintadena 8 of Zaandam.
Yu is also a professional musician and as such has her own website.
Tuner; with us since 2003.
Jan’s tuning work is concentrated in the eastern part of the country. He works on Schnitger's large organ in the Grote Kerk in Zwolle, but he also enjoyed working in Middelburg. He also occasionally works abroad (Germany, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Suriname and Aruba).
After graduating from the MTS school, he worked for various other organ builders and pipe makers. Jan is a church organist in the PKN in Barneveld and he has other interests that he likes to pay attention to, such as his own house organ project, volunteering, and spending time with the (grand) children.
Organ builder; with us since 2004.
Mees has a long career behind him as an organ builder with Willem de Jongh. His considerable experience makes him a great asset in our workshop.
Mees made a beautiful authentic pedal chest for the oldest Flaes organ in Wormerveer. He also assisted at the disassembling, restoring and assembling of the Flaes organ in Zaandijk.
Organ builder; with us since 2009.
Nfter a 10-year career in model building in several different branches, Michiel is now being educated as an organ builder at Flentrop.
From childhood on Michiel has had a keen interest for wood working and music. He combines these two in that he builds musical instruments, writes music for them and records this music in his selfmade home studio.
At Flentrop he also finds this combination, in the organ builders profession and in his colleagues, and he is looking forward to the projects to come.
Tuner/Voicer, working since 2015.
Klaas studied at the Conservatory of Amsterdam (organ, church music
and choral conducting) and worked as a conductor. Since 2010 he has
worked for Flentrop as an independent tuner, and from May 2015 as a
fulltime employee of Flentrop. In his spare time Klaas is organist of
the Lutheran Church, Haarlem.
His most interesting project was working on the Rückpositiv of the St. Jakobikirche in Lübeck.
In 2015 he made his first extended trips abroad to the United States (Berkely, St. Marks Episcopal Church) and Taipei (Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center).
Organ-builder, working since 2015.
Ross studied at the University of Glasgow where he achieved a Master of Arts degree (with honours music) in 2010. As the university Organ Scholar, he played the organ at academic ceremonies and services and accompanied the university Chapel Choir during their busy schedule of evensongs, concerts and radio-broadcasts.
In 2009 he was awarded the Flentrop Scholarship by the Eric Thompson
Trust which involved spending two weeks in the Flentrop workshops
learning the basics of organ-building whilst also receiving lessons
from esteemed Dutch organists. This experience, and especially the
confrontation with mechanical-action organs, inspired Ross to move to
the Netherlands for further studies with Pieter van Dijk at the
Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He graduated with a Masters degree in
organ in 2014. Ross is organist of the Mozes en Aäronkerk in
Amsterdam and is rehearsal-pianist for the Amsterdam oratorio choir COV
From day one working at Flentrop, Ross was immediately "thrown in at the deep-end" as he was commisioned to design (with guidance from colleagues) a new, independent pedal-division for the Protestant Church of Warmond. In a short space of time, he has already been part of two extraordinary projects: the restoration of the 1781 Hinsz organ in the Martinikerk of Bolsward, and the restoration of the 1611 Hummel/Nitrowski organ - the oldest organ of Poland. Under the guidance of experienced co-workers Rutger and Paul, Ross helped with the disassembly of these two organs and will spend the next period helping with the restoration of the various parts and the documentation of the historical pipework.
Organ builder, in service since 2016.
Sander studied at the Wood and Furnishing College in Amsterdam, level 4.
During his studies he did an internship at Flentrop Orgelbouw. He was soon fascinated by the organ specialized craft. Especially in fine woodworking he can indulge in Flentrop. There is a lot of knowledge with colleagues, Sander hopes so much to learn in the future. He looks forward to the projects yet to come.
Organ Builder, employed since 2017.
Tacitus completed his furniture-joiner's training in 1989 at the technical institute of St. Jansberg, Belgium. After completing this course he followed a course at the European Center for Conservation, Renovation and Restoration in Belgium. Through an internship at Orgelbouwer Bernard Aubertin in France he discovered the profession of organ building, with his interest mainly in the fine mechanics. After this internship, Tacitus has worked for Flentrop for 4 years and for the past 22 years at the firm Pels & Van Leeuwen. Since April 2017, Tacitus has been active as organ builder at Flentrop.
Executive Assistant, with us since 2019.
Cynthia became acquainted with Flentrop Orgelbouw during her organ performance practice studies at Duke University. After studying in Leeuwarden on a Fulbright grant, she studied and taught law, worked as a communications associate, and became a professional organizer. Cynthia is enthusiastic about 17th- and 18th- century north German organ music, funk, animals and cycling.
Organ builder, with us since 2019.
Daan began with a two-year internship in our shop in 2015.
He then began attending the HMC (woodworking and furniture school) and added another internship with us to his programme.
In 2019, he started a course of study in carpentry and joinery at the HMC. During this course of study he takes classes one day a week and works with us for the other four days. Daan performs a variety of tasks at our company. He enjoys working with his hands and using all sorts of hand tools.
One of his favourite projects was the restoration of a rolling bellows for an organ in Columbia, South Carolina (USA). He greatly enjoyed both the restoration work and the knowledge that the restored bellows would be functioning on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Organbuilder in training, with us since 2019.
Wiete completed his education as a cabinet maker at the HMC in Amsterdam in 2004, after which he also completed a shortened education for furniture upholsterer in 2006.
After that he spent five years as an independent furniture maker and carpenter building various interiors and doing renovations. Even then, as a furniture maker, he made a number of cases for organs built by his father’s company.
He then joined an interior builder in Amsterdam. There he worked as a furniture maker, CNC programmer and technical draftsman.
But organ building was still in his blood, so he decided to continue in his fathers trade. At Flentrop Orgelbouw, Wiete is now working on mastering all the skills associated with organ building. He loves to learn new skills every day and to think in solutions. He started the bellows position for Corvey with us and enjoyed building and installing it with a great
deal of independence.
Furniture maker, with us since 2020.
Erik is a very experienced furniture maker. He found his place at Flentrop Orgelbouw after having worked in shipbuilding and interior construction for forty-two years.
Erik is a perfectionist with wood: everything has to be right down to the smallest details. In his spare time he makes musical instruments, such as a 36-key barrel organ, a violin, a lute and various guitars. He is enthusiastic about his current project: building a wooden gear clock.
To let loose, he likes to dance to rock 'n' roll with his wife.
Pipe maker in training, with us since 2021.
Elly inherited the love for craft and music from home; her father was a furniture maker and her mother was a singing teacher. After having worked for 6 years in interior construction, she took the step to follow the internal training for pipe maker at Flentrop, according to her the perfect job to combine craft and music.
Elly's first major project is the front work of the Christian Müller organ in the Grote of Sint-Bavokerk in Haarlem.
In her spare time she can be found in her garden, on the water, in the woods or at a cultural performance.
Freelance adviser, since 2022.
Anja once started at Fokker and worked for 22 years at Berghoef-Hout, a production company in the chipboard industry. Here she was director of the Amsterdam branch and was closely involved in setting up a branch in Germany. From this job she has ample experience in managing an internationally oriented project organization and planning processes. By collaborating with various people at all levels and from different backgrounds, she has developed a broad knowledge of human nature.
It gives Anja a lot of satisfaction when a project goes well and all people are feeling involved. Not only involvement from their profession and craft, but also in relation to planning and result. An important starting point is keeping communication well and make sure everyone enjoys their work. That it really will be 'a project together, in which everyone has the feeling that they can achieve something together'.
She regards it important that the progress of projects runs as
smoothly as possible. “For example, is there a material hard to get?
Give that job to me, I'll try to arrange it. Someone on the workshop
should not have to deal with that.”
Anja was born and raised in Haarlem and lives in Santpoort-South. she likes to walk, reading, crocheting and knitting. She also takes care of her mother of 93 and is a volunteer in the restaurant of a nursing home. She regularly walks around the golf course with her husband and 'they play about who should drive back'. During the holidays they make their own wine and olive oil in their cottage in Italy.