American firm of organ builders. It was founded (as J.H. & C.S. Odell) in 1859 by John Henry Odell (1830–99) and Caleb Sherwood Odell (1827–93) in New York. Before starting their own company, the Odell brothers had worked for Richard Ferris, and for William Robjohn, whom they succeeded. Although the firm's output was never great and was largely confined to the New York area, the Odells are credited with several important inventions, mostly patented during the 1860s and 1870s, including a reversible coupler action, an early combination action and a crescendo pedal. They were also early experimenters with tubular-pneumatic action, for which they obtained patents in 1872 and 1898. Among their more notable instruments were those built for the Fort Street Presbyterian Church, Detroit (1876), and Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York (1893). After the deaths of the founders, the firm was operated for a time by John Henry's son, George Washington Odell, under the name of J.H. & C.S. Odell & Co., and the scope of the company's work gradually narrowed to small organs, rebuilding and maintenance. William Henry Odell, son of Caleb, later operated the company with his sons Caleb H. (d 1944) and Lewis C. (d 1959); in 1928 the sons relocated the workshop to Mount Vernon, New York. After their deaths the company was run as a maintenance operation by Harry Odell (1919–98, son of Caleb H. Odell), who sold its assets to Anthony R. Meloni & Co. of Portchester, New York, in 1985.
O. Ochse: The History of the Organ in the United States (Bloomington, IN, 1975)
J. Ogasapian: Organ Building in New York City, 1700–1900 (Braintree, MA, 1977)
F.R. Webber: ‘A Century of Odell Organs’, The Tracker, xxvi/4 (1981–2), 8–13
City in Denmark, the country's third largest city, on the island of Fyn. In early times music was taught at the Latinskole, and a town musician was employed. As the city was the winter residence of the landed gentry, a rich theatrical and musical life developed from the end of the 18th century. Visiting opera companies appeared at the Odense Teater (erected 1795, rebuilt 1840 and 1891; new building 1914); concerts were also held at the inn of Herman Kyhn (from the winter season of 1772) and later in the Odense Klub (founded 1780, closed 1801). Passion concerts with oratorios were conducted by the choirmaster of the Latinskole, Johan Jacob Heimeran. From 1813 to 1818 Count Frederik Ahlefeldt-Laurvig's orchestra formed the nucleus of concert life. In 1819 the Musikalske Selskab (Musical Society) was formed, holding subscription concerts in the town hall. The Odense Musikforening (Music Society), founded in 1866, was active over a long period and among other things performed oratorio. In 1880 a 20-man regimental orchestra was established, continuing until 1932 and later continued until 1997 in the Musikkorps Fyn (earlier the Fynske Livregiments Musikkorps). In 1918 the Odense Private Kammermusikforening (from 1920 the Odense Kammermusikforening) was set up. Several attempts were made to establish a permanent city orchestra (e.g. the Filharmonisk Orkester for Fyns Stift, founded 1926); finally in 1946 the Odense Municipal Orchestra (Byorkester) was founded (from 1986 the Odense Symfoniorkester). It performed in the Fyns Forsamlingshus (built 1910; c1700 seats) and later in the Odense Koncerthus (inaugurated 1982), which has two halls seating 1300 and 360; the large hall houses an organ by Marcussen with 46 stops. In 1929 the Fynske Musikkonservatorium was established; it has been a national institution since 1972. Fyns Unge Tonekunstnerselskab has performed new music since 1982, for example at the Musiknytår and Musikhøst festivals. Other ensembles are the Carl Nielsen Kvartetten (formed 1963; known as Fynske Kvartet, 1963–73) and the Fynske Trio (founded 1973; from 1990 called the Lin Ensemble). Opera and operetta were performed occasionally at the Odense Teater, more regularly from 1948. Fynske Opera, founded in 1953, staged a new production annually at the Odense Teater until it disbanded in 1964.
The composer Carl Nielsen was born near Nørre Lyndelse, south of Odense, in 1865 and as a young man worked in the city as a military musician. There is a museum in Odense honouring Nielsen and his wife, a sculptor, and a smaller one at one of his childhood homes, south of the city. In 1982 the first known manuscript of a symphony attributed to Mozart (k16a) was found in Odense; it had its modern première there in 1984 and, although the attribution is discredited, is now known as the Odense Symphony.
C.M.K. Petersen: ‘Musik og skuespil fra 1770 til vore dage’, Odense bys historie, ed. H. St Holbeck and others (Odense, 1926), ii, 679–783
G. Hansen: Die Entwicklung des National-Theaters in Odense aus einer deutschen Entreprise: ein Beitrag zur deutsch-dänischen Theatergeschichte, Die Schaubühne: Quellen und Forschungen zur Theatergeschichte, lix (Emsdetten, 1963)
H. Albrecht: Odense musikforening 1866–1966 (Odense, 1966)
P. Dreyer, ed.: Odense Teater 175 år 1796–1971 (Odense, 1971)
T. Vandsted: Gennem kamp til sejr: Odense Byorkester, Fyns symfoniske Orkester 1946–1971 (Odense, 1971)
C. Alsted, ed.: Odense private kammermusikforenings symfoniorkester, 1948–1973 (Odense, 1973)
S. Reventlow: Musik på Fyn: blandt kendere og liebhavere (Copenhagen, 1983)
J.P. Larsen and K. Wedin, eds.: Die Sinfonie KV16a ‘del Sigr. Mozart’ Odense 1984
N. Oxenvad: ‘Teater og musik’, Mod bedre tider: Odense 1789–1868, ed. P. Thestrup and others (Odense, 1986), 386–403
J. Haestrup: ‘Musiklivet’, Storby og servicecenter: Odense 1945–1988, ed. S.N. Laursen and others (Odense, 1988), 428–44