David Smit


David was first introduced to the world of music at the age of thirteen when he started studying the organ.

After matriculating in 1994 he joined the firm of Cooper, Gill & Tomkins (South Africa's oldest organ building firm established in 1902) as an apprentice to the late James Riadore, then director of the Cape Town branch. After two years as a general apprentice, he went to complete his master builder's apprenticeship at the world renowned firm of CB Fisk of Gloucester, MA, USA specialising as a pipemaker and voicer.

During his time there the firm's Opp. 109-114 (Rice University - Dallas TX, Minato Mirai - Yokohama Japan, University of Oklahoma, St James' - Richmond VA & Benaroya Hall - Seattle WA). On his return to South Africa he once again joined Cooper, Gill & Tomkins as a master organ builder. In 2002 he established his own firm, which he has maintained ever since. Over the last nearly two decades he has worked on instruments throughout South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, the US, Bolivia and Argentina. This has also given him the opportunity to teach young apprentices as well as participating in master's training projects (notably in the installation, restoration and overhauling of instruments in Bolivia and Argentina) as both project leader and under the mentorship of highly regarded organ builder and restorer Susan Tattershall and luthier Alfonzo Ichu.

As a researcher and historian he has published one book (Golden City Organ, 2002) and is in the process of writing a second. Hi contributed as researcher and part writer to the publication detailing the history of Cooper, Gill & Tomkins in celebration of their centenary in 2002. His literary contributions also include a number of articles and entries for "The Organ, An Encyclopaedia" and individual articles for various journals or websites on topics ranging from organ pipe metallurgy to scaling and design and biographical or technical descriptions of organ personal and technologies.

ZAJohannesburg, South Africa
In operation since: 


David Smit

Followers (1)