Manuel Rosales: 213.925.8633
Office: 323.262.9253
Fax: 323.262.8018






It has been now eighteen years since I first saw [Rosales Opus 11 at Trinity Cathedral in Portland, Oregon]. I still have my handwritten notes and impressions from that visit (three years before my first laptop!). It was David Junchen who urged me to see it most of all, and Grahame Davis, ... and seemingly countless others. Sometimes it's difficult to think back to those far more unyielding times, when its fusing of the supposedly unfusable reflected the culture as much as the instrument itself. It was a clear watershed, amplified by so many people understanding that very fact right from the start.

Jonathan Ambrosino, for the 20th anniversary of Opus 11 in 2007



Every aspect [of Opus 24 in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles] is awe-inspiring, from the lush, restful whispers of the Unda Maris and Voix Céleste right through to the arresting tones of the triple tutti, crowned by the heroic Trompeta de Los Angeles which appears in the Gehry prospect (as do, remarkably enough, the 32' Violonbasse and 32' Contre Basson).

Two full symphony orchestras and a chorus of five hundred singers could not equal the overall power of this new organ when all appropriate registers are engaged. Special mention must be made of the Llamarada division which particularly pays homage to the glorious Spanish organ-building history. Stops such as the soaring Flautado grandiso and the cheerful Pajaritos (two pair of birdolas/nightingales) lend a unique and memorable charm to this most noble and notable of concert pipe organs.

Carlo Curley



Dear Manuel:

On behalf of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America, I would like to thank you for your presentation "Organ Builder, Acoustician and Client: Developing a Team Approach" on February 17, 2004.  The excellent historical perspective and the detailed discussion of the issues involved in the design and installation of pipe organs in often difficult settings was presented in a very informal manner and was easy to follow by the members of the audience.  I learned a great deal from the session and I'm sure that the other members of the audience were equally impressed.  The numerous questions and comments from the group demonstrated their interest in your presentation.

We were very privileged and pleased to have you as our speaker and appreciate the time you took from your busy schedule to talk to us.  Thank you.

I hope that we can arrange for a visit to the new organ in Walt Disney Concert Hall soon.

Sincerely yours,

David Strelioff
Vice-Chairman, ASA Los Angeles Regional Chapter



Dear Manuel,

It was with anticipation yet some skepticism that I came in July 1988 to see and hear your Opus 11 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland. After playing only a few chords, I immediately knew that this organ was something very special. Indeed, I had never heard anything as exciting and brilliant this side of France. It was bold yet elegant, powerful yet subtle, exhilarating yet soothing. Everything about it was superb: the colors, the voicing, the balances, the flexibility, the action, the casework and facades, the player comfort. In short, it was fabulous.

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Without a doubt, it is one of the best organs ever built by anyone. I have had the pleasure and honor of your friendship ever since that wonderful experience in Portland. I admire many things about you: your uncanny ability to work magic on stoplists and pipes; your great knowledge and love of the work of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll; your perfectionist attitude about making an organ the best it can be; your honesty and loyalty; your open-mindedness about new ideas and innovations. Your talents have inspired me to learn more about the science and art of organ building. I look forward to each and every new Rosales with great anticipation. Indeed, each one is unique and, in its own way, an American masterpiece. Bravo!


George Baker



As you know, I have played some splendid instruments, and I am grateful for that. But on too many other occasions I have wished for tonal production that is well balanced and at the same time lends itself to a wide range of the literature.

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On your Opus 11 the musical phrases take on the proper meaning and come to life as they should. And as a final attribute of a practical nature, the stops are arranged in such a logical manner that it is perfectly natural to just perform the music without effort.

Some time ago I was discouraged over what would happen to organ building in this country, but you are now the "top man."

Catharine Crozier Gleason



Dear Manuel,

It was reassuring for me to play your Opus 11 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon. I had been looking at the specification and wondering if the sound of the instrument would be as splendid as the stoplist suggested. After playing the instrument in rehearsal and in concert, all I can say is Bravo!

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The four Harmonic Flutes are really wonderful and it was gratifying to see them take their rightful place in the palette of tonal colors. Organ builders have ignored these voices in recent times and I have missed them. They add so much to the possibilities in the registrations and are called for in much of the French Romantic literature. Thank you for restoring these stops to their rightful place.

Please accept my congratulations for a successful instrument and best wishes for the success of your future work.

With warmest regards,

David Craighead



Dear Manuel,

You continue to build organs of rare and unsurpassed tonal beauty. It has been a joy to play several of your new instruments in the last few years, including the privilege of recording the extraordinary organ at Claremont.

The instruments speak with individual and highly flavored, yet refined accents. The innate beauty of each stop shows great finesse of voicing, and the effect of the ensembles is invariably convincing and satisfying, from the simple combination of 8' and 16' foundation stops to the shuddering power of the tutti.

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But perhaps the truest accolade I could give is that once seated at the console, I find it next to impossible to leave; the repertoire refuses to exhaust itself. The timbres that emerge are astonishingly profuse, like the handkerchiefs out of the magician's hat - and even having settled on a particular choice of stops, one wishes to hear it continuously, basking in the tremendous richness of sound. We organists are deeply grateful for such works of art. There is no question that you are a master builder, but I think that you are a genius as well.

With great admiration,

Diane Meredith Belcher



I had a truly fabulous time playing your magnificent instrument at Trinity. It worked beautifully for my program - or rather I should say that almost any program would be perfectly rendered on such a fine eclectic organ - and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know its subtleties. Not to mention reeds that I'd die for...

Thank you again for being such a fine organ builder. It's artists like you that keep me in this line of work. The Trinity organ has revitalized my whole attitude towards performance!

Kimberly Marshall



I want to add my own note of appreciation and admiration to so many others who have congratulated you on this great accomplishment. I am sure that many other organ builders would have simply given up when faced with so many obstacles. It is a real tribute, not only to your skill as a craftsman, but also your patience as a person that this project is now complete.

And what a superb instrument it is! I always knew that we would someday have a good organ. What I didn't realize until last week is that we have instead a masterpiece. Surely the musical world will now sit up and take notice of this remarkable instrument played by outstanding musicians.

The Rev. Kirk Stevan Smith, Rector
St. James' Episcopal Church, Los Angeles, Calif.



What a joy it was to place my hands upon your exceptional instrument at St. James Episcopal Church, L.A., the other night. It is one of those exceptional marriages of builders and acoustic that make the instrument fairly beg to be played. Such wondrous "marriages" are hard to come by. The beauty, warmth, color, variety, subtlety, cohesiveness and ease with which the organ speaks is like a miracle. Bravo! Keep up the good work. I look forward to more of your instruments and especially encourage you to give us more such instruments with electric consoles and your wonderful voices.

Clay Christiansen, Tabernacle Organist
The Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Utah



Just as the best-equipped harpsichordist is not likely to have a Baffo for Frescobaldi, a Zell for Bach and a Tibaut for Louis Couperin, so no organist can expect more than a Fisk or Rosales in his hall - nor should he!

Bruce Brown, San Francisco, California
Keith Toth, Danbury, Connecticut



...Having played the Rosales organ at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in the empty building back in September, and finding the instrument quite aggressive from the console, and remembering the long thread on PipOrg-L about that subject some while back, I approached the evening recital by Douglas Cleveland with real interest. This was to be my chance to evaluate to my personal satisfaction this instrument about which we have all heard so much. I was, in fact, cornered on the porch by a Portland native, with whom I am happily acquainted, and he made his feelings quite clear, to the affect that he really finds the instrument overpowering.

Well, I want to weigh in with my vote - I had no trouble arriving at a clear judgement, for what that might be worth. Where I feared I might be overpowered and beaten by noise, I found only real excitement and thrill, and lots of ravishingly beautiful sounds at lesser decibel levels as well. That's really it! Douglas played a brilliant, flawless, and totally musical concert for us - a "lot of notes." The complete Vierne 2nd, the Tournemire Victimae Paschali, the Franck Priére, Deux Esquisses, Opus 41 of Dupré, E Minor and B flat Minor, and already completely drained (Douglas looked at the end like he had not moved a muscle all evening), we had one final burst of emotion, singing (which at an OHS convention, is worth the trip alone) St. Clement "The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended." I was a puddle on the floor. We all have recitals we will remember forever - this is one to add to my personal list. Thank you OHS, thank you Douglas, thank you Manuel Rosales. What a night!

Malcolm Wechsler
in Glorious Portland Reviews, June 1997






Rosales Pipe Organ Services, Inc.   3020 East Olympic Boulevard  ▪  Los Angeles  CA  90023-3402
Manuel Rosales: 213.925.8633    Office: 323.262.9253    Fax: 323.262.8018