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Kennedy Center Unveils New 5,000-Pipe Organ

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(Credit: AP) The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

(Credit: AP) The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Kennedy Center is unveiling a large new pipe organ to replace a 40-year-old organ that was never ideal for its concert hall.

The Rubenstein Family Organ makes its debut Tuesday evening in a free performance featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and organist William Neil. The concert includes Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor.”

Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein donated $2 million for the purchase in 2011. The gift brings his donations to the center to $25 million.

The organ was built, custom installed and painstakingly tuned by Casavant Freres of Quebec. It has four keyboards and nearly 5,000 pipes. The heaviest pipe weighs 400 pounds.

It replaces the smaller Filene organ from 1972, which sometimes let out loud, unexpected noises. That organ was eventually deemed unusable.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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