The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1099

Builder Identification

Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada, 1840–1866.

Additional Notes

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders, rev. ed., by David H. Fox (Richmond, Va.: Organ Historical Society, 1997). —

    Father of Joseph-Claver Jr. and Samuel-Marie Casavant; organbuilder in Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada, 1840–1866; succeeded by Eusbe Brodeur.


    • Jeanne D’Aigle, L'histoire de Casavant Frères, 1880–1980 (Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada:Les Editions D’Aigle, 1988) 17.
    • Kallmann et al., Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981) 711.
    • Organ Handbook; (Organ Historical Society of Richmond, VA, 1982) 14.

  • From the OHS Database Builders Listing Editor, June 25, 2016. —

    Joseph Casavant (b 23 Jan 1807, d 9 Mar 1874), was the first prominent Canadian-born organ builder. Casavant was a blacksmith who decided to study Latin at Father Charles-Joseph Ducharme's college in Ste-Thérèse-de-Blainville. While there, he was intrigued by an unfinished organ imported from France. Abandoning his original course of study, he focused on completing the organ. Using L'Art du facteur d'orgues (Paris 1766-78), a classic treatise by Dom François Bédos de Celles, he managed to complete the instrument.

    Word of his accomplishment spread, and the authorities at St-Martin-de-Laval ordered an organ from him. At this point, Casavant dedicated himself to his new trade, continuing to build organs until he retired in 1866, having completed 17 new organs. He turned the shop over to his former apprentice, Eusèbe Brodeur. It was Brodeur who would give initial instruction in organ building to the Joseph Casavant's two sons before they embarked on their long study of continental organs in Europe. The two brothers would establish the firm which still bears their name.


    • Antoine Bouchard, "Casavant Frères" in The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada, 1985—. Article published January 18, 2007, Last edited March 4, 2015.

Database Entries

There are 2 entries in the database that describe organs by Joseph C. Casavant Sr.

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