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Varnus Hall in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia

The Varnus Hall in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia is not just a concert venue, it is also a living version of 19th century Victorian life in the 21st century. Built between 1847 and 1895, Varnus Hall was originally a Congregationalist church. The ceiling design of the hall is indeed very special, resembling the inverted interior of the hull of a ship. The first church was built in 1847, and when the second church was built in 1895, it was added to the first church, which was used as a Vestry from then. The architect for the new church was Ernest McLeod and the builder was Arthur Boucher. Thanks to the huge amount of wood, the acoustics of the hall are chrystal clear. The hall's magnificent concert organ was designed by the famous British organist Graham Percy Steed and built by the legendary Casavant Frères in 1977, as the company's 3338th opus. The tower's large bell was cast in the 20th century and is called The Bourdon. This bell is rung on every major public holiday in memory of the church's founders. 

The building complex surrounding the church includes the Canadian residence of the current owner, organist Xaver Varnus, in addition to a small cafe and museum, which tells the history of the church building and its organ. The building structure, and the nature that surrounds it, truly brings one back to the magnificence of the 19th century, while the majority of the furnishings come from the Varnus family's two centuries-old European collection. Varnus Hall's mission is to present extraordinary music and musicians on the stage of this ancient and magnificent hall, to bring the transformative power of music to the widest possible audience, and to foster the future of music through the cultivation of new works, artists, and audiences. Iconic musicians such as Ullrich Böhme, organist of Bach's Thomaskirche in Leipzig; the grande dame of French organ music, Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin, organist of St-Sulpice in Paris, will perform at the Xaver Varnus Music Festival in the near future. Varnus Hall will also feature concerts by the amazing Kelemen String Quartet, young German organ virtuoso Sebastian Heindl, and Walter Delahunt, who previously gave memorable chamber concerts with Martha Argerich and Gidon Kremer.

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