The HOLTKAMP ORGAN COMPANY has been located at 2909 Meyer Avenue in Cleveland since 1922.  Its origins date from the G. F. Votteler & Co., a small regional organ company established in Cleveland in 1866.   The company was run by two generations of Votteler before Herman Heinrich Holtkamp, also known as Henry Holtkamp, moved to Cleveland to join Henry Votteler, who was retiring. WALTER HOLTKAMP took over management of the company in 1931. The name of the company was changed in 1951 from the Votteler-Holtkamp-Sparling Organ Co. to the Holtkamp Organ Company.  Walter Holtkamp’s son, Walter Jr., started working with his father in 1956. Walter Jr. took control of the company when his father died in 1962. When Walter Jr. died in 1995, F. Christian Holtkamp became president and managing director and as of 2019 remained in that position.

Originally, the organs made by the Holtkamp Organ Company were only sold locally. The staff has always been kept small to ensure quality in every step, and to allow the customer to have as much customization of the instrument as possible. The company gained national recognition under the leadership and quality assurance of Walter Holtkamp, Sr.  He was the earliest American organ builder to arrange pipes in the open and voice the instrument in low wind pressure, which also coincided with a renewed interest in the music of Bach. Walter Sr. and reputation he built for the Holtkamp Organ Company helped pioneer the organ reform movement, which was a move away from the organs with orchestral oriented tones. The organs Walter Sr. built returned to an older church-oriented sound. Walter Jr. took company innovations further by constructing mechanical action organs.

The family company currently (2019) maintains a small staff, which Builds, on average, four to six organs a year.  The quality of each organ maintains the reputation of the company that was built by Walter Sr. and Walter Jr. as one of the finest one of the finest organ builders and designers in the country.

The Holtkamp Organ Company is a member of the ONE HUNDRED YEAR CLUB OF THE WESTERN RESERVE.

Matthew Saplak 

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