LUGANO (Switzerland) – Cathedral of St. Lawrence


The Cathedral of Saint Lawrence in Lugano was built to honour the martyr Saint Lawrence of Rome. Erected in the High Middle Ages, it presently serves as the seat of the Diocese of Lugano. Noteworthy architectural details of the Cathedral of Saint Lawrence include a main façade inspired by the Certosa di Pavia in northern Italy, cherub-adorned rose window in the main portal, five medallions in the central portal, busts of Kings Solomon and David, and Baroque-style bell tower.

The most recent additions to the church were frescoes by artist Ernesto Rusca, added between 1905 and 1910. From outside, the church boasts pleasant vistas of the town below and its surrounding mountains.

From 2009 to 2017 the cathedral underwent a complete restoration, headed by the architect Franco Pessina. The restored cathedral was inaugurated on 14 October, 2017.



By 1910, Vicenzo Mascioni had already built about 50 organs with tubular pneumatic action, and many were received with acclaim.

Mascioni pneumatics were very reliable and, above all, lightning fast: more so than many electric actions of today.

The Lugano organ was built in 1908 and inaugurated by Maestro Marco Enrico Bossi, a legend of his period. With 2,308 pipes, it sang down the nave from the choir loft over the west door.

In the 50’s it was remodelled by Khun in line with the neo-baroque fervour of that time. Many romantic voices were scrapped and the modified console was moved to the middle of the choir.

But the recent restoration of the cathedral’s frescoes has let us return everything to how it was.

Along with the winding and 8 soundboards, the action has been totally rebuilt, re-tubed and returned to its 1908 layout, including a new pneumatic console with free combinations like those of the time.

Meanwhile, Kuhn’s tonal changes were put into reverse and new romantic voices made to the original scales, voiced in Vincenzo Mascioni’s period style.

Just one addition has been made: a second electric-action console at floor level alongside the choir. But in every respect, here once again is a turn-of-the-century vintage Mascioni.


2 manuals with 58 keys (C-a”’)

Pedalboard with 27 keys (C-d’)

Manual I – Great Organ
1. Principale 16′
2. Principale 8′
3. Principale II  8′
4. Flauto a Camino 8′
5. Gamba 8′
6. Dolce * 8′
7. Ottava 4′
8. Flauto Armonico 4′
9. Cornetto 3-4 file
10. Ripieno Grave 4 file
11. Ripieno Acuto 5 file  
12. Voce Umana* 8′ 
13. Tromba 8′ 
14. I 4 I
15. II 16 I
16. II 4 I
17. Ped 4 Ped
18. I 8 Ped
19. II 8 Ped
20. II 8 I
  Manual  II – Organo Espressivo (Swell)  
26. Principale violino 8′
27. Corno di Camoscio 8′
28. Bordone 8′
29. Viola 8′
30. Flauto Conico 4′
31. Fugara 4′
32. Ripieno 5 file
33. Oboe 8′
34. Voce Celeste* 8′
35. Concerto Viole* 8′


21. Contrabasso 16′
22. Subbasso 16′
23. Armonico 8′
24. Violoncello* 8′
25. Ottava 4′

* completely rebuilt stops