Graham Meyer is a writer, editor, composer, and crossword puzzle constructor based in Chicago. He reviews restaurants for Crain’s Chicago Business and covers classical and new music for Chicago magazine. His music has been performed by Musae and the Princeton Katzenjammers. His puzzles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Sun.


Pipe organs are the prima donnas of instrumental music—capable of beautiful sounds but very high-maintenance. Thousands of individually tuned pipes animated by the organist’s hands and feet make possible music of sublime complexity and subtlety. They also require a lot of attention because of their many components, including delicate mechanical interfaces and electrical wires that would run to miles if laid end to end.

April 1, 2007

A round-up of the D.C. area’s greatest pipe organs. I think every organist I interviewed for this story asked me, genuinely confused, “How did you decide to write about pipe organs?”