The Campianus Foundation was set up on 23. 1. 2008. Its aim is to ensure the financial resources for three projects in the Jesuit University Church, Assumption of Our Lady in the center of the historic city of Brno, Czech Republic. The main project and the first to be undertaken is an international project to build a concert organ in this church. The foundation was named after the English martyr St. Edmund Campian (1540-1581), who studied and lived in the adjoining Jesuit college of Brno. The new organ will bear the name Campianus in his memory and a special register Cor anglaise 16´ will be included in the third manual. Among the patrons of the Campianus Foundation are significant institutions of Brno. People from the cultural, political and religious milieu offering special patronage include: Tomáš Cardinal Špidlík SJ, Rome, Václav Havel, ex-president of the Czech Republic, Fr. Michael Holman SJ, Jesuit Provincial in Britain, Fr. František Hylmar SJ, Jesuit Provincial in the Czech Republic, Roman Onderka, mayor of Brno city, Prof. Petr Fiala, rector of Masaryk University, Prof. Václav Cejpek, rector of Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts and Prof. Alena Štěpánková-Veselá, former rector of Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts and leading expert on organs.
The original precious baroque organ in the church was destroyed during the bombing of Brno on 20. 11. 1944. It was a substitute target in place of the original objective in southern Poland. 474 planes participated in this air raid. These were English-American bombers, B-24 Liberator and Boeing B-17, belonging to the 97th Bomber Group of the 5th Bomber Wing of US Air Force. The Americans apologized at the end of World War II for this air strike. The church remained closed and some repairs were made after the war but only a provisional organ of poor quality was installed. This organ is still in use even today.
In 1990 the Jesuits returned to this church and ownership of the church was transferred from the army to the Catholic Church in 2002. Restoration of the interior of the church was initiated and a lot has already been achieved. The next phase of the restoration is the building of a new concert and church organ. The estimated cost of this organ is one million euros. The new organ will be used principally during church services but will also be used for solo concerts, orchestral concerts and recording of organ music. Graduating students of Brno Conservatory and Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno will have opportunities to use the organ. The cultural life in Brno which includes matinées, competitions, parades and especially The Brno Organ Festival will benefit from this quality concert organ.
The City Council and Southern Moravia County Council support The Campianus Foundation not only by their special patronage but they have also contributed financially to the project. We are now appealing for your support and financial assistance to help us to realize this project of the new concert organ for Brno. We would like to invite you, countrymen of St. Edmund Campian and you who share the same language and especially you who wish to promote history, art or music to join the list of our generous donors. Those wishing to subscriber to the fund can donate directly to our bank account. IBAN:
CZ2001000000431481930237, BIC: KOMBCZPPXXX. Bank: Komerční banka, a. s., Brno-Černá Pole, Merhautova 1, 631 32. You are also wellcome to contact us if you prefer to draw up a deed of gift. We look forward to having your support and thank you in anticipation for any help you can give.