Letter: Singing the praises of Klais organs

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Sir: What does 'opportunity missed' at St John's Smith Square imply? John Norman does not tell us (letter, 9 October). Presumably he means that the 18th-century case from St George's Great Yarmouth should have remained unaltered? The original organ in the case would have been a one- or two-keyboard instrument without pedals, and swell box. Is this the kind of organ his 'lost opportunity' represents?

I am a personal friend of Hans Gerd Klais, of the third generation of the 110-year-old family of Klais Orgelbau Bonn. I have been at the factory in Bonn several times, notably at the centenary celebrations 10 years ago. I have seen and heard and played some of their organs. They are to be found all over west and south Germany, old and new, also in Austria, Switzerland, the United States, Australia, and Japan. The organ in St John's Smith Square is the second Klais organ in England. The first was installed in Gonville & Caius Chapel in Cambridge 10 years ago. I have never heard any criticism of this organ, except its unfortunate location in a small and dead chapel.

I congratulate the promoters at St John's Smith Square. They have waited patiently for their plans to materialise, while the huge cost of the organ has been realised.

Yours faithfully,