For 50 years Viscount has been a world leader in electronic classical organs, with first-class engineering at the heart of their make-up.
In 2006 the distribution rights for the UK were bought by David Mason. Early on David realised that, in order to appeal to UK organists, it was imperative that our organs were designed with English stop lists, were voiced along English lines and had accessories such as general and divisional pistons. Up until this point all Viscount organs imported to the UK had a standard European specification. Working closely with the Italian designers, the first English specification organs were launched in 2007.
We are passionate about all things organ
In 2008 Viscount Italy introduced their revolutionary ‘Physis’ physical modelling sound engine. This technology offered a huge advance in sound quality and gave us the ability to voice an organ in ways not previously possible. We decided the time was right to be able to offer custom-built organs using the Physis platform and so our sister business, Regent Classic Organs, was born.
Now our customers could choose their own stop list, console style, keyboard and features, only limited by their imagination and budget. Since 2008, Regent Classic Organs has grown to be a business in its own right, with many private schools and cathedrals in the UK and abroad as clients. This has included a brand new four manual commission from Wellington Cathedral in New Zealand.
Here at Viscount we’re also very keen to promote the organ (both pipe and digital) and provide learning access opportunities for young people, which is not always easy. We are delighted to have been able to help a variety of outreach projects and you can read about some of them on our blog.
Watch the short video below to learn more about our history and the Viscount Organs team and customers.
Come and visit the showroom in Bicester
At our offices in Bicester, our showroom has a wide range of instruments, from every range, set-up and available for you to try. With a standard range of over 40 different models from around £1,100 to over £56,000 you are sure to be able to find a Viscount organ with the right specification and within budget. If budgets are tighter, we usually have a stock of pre-owned instruments available.
Although you are most welcome to just ‘drop-in’, it’s always advisable to call us first to make sure we have the right instrument available for you to try.
In the meantime, below is an interactive 3D Tour of our showroom in Bicester. Be sure to click on the instruments you’re interested in, to hear video and audio samples.
If travelling to Bicester is difficult, you might find one of our authorised UK & Ireland dealers closer to you.
The Viscount UK team is made up of experienced staff, including church musicians with many years of experience advising on instruments for every circumstance. Whether you are looking for the perfect instrument for your home, church, school, concert hall or something bespoke, the Viscount UK team is committed to providing the very best classical digital organs money can buy, backed up by the very best service and support.
We look forward to serving our clients old and new for the next 50 years.
A timeline of our journey
- Bought the business and launched our first website
- Establish a good “English” sound for our instruments with enhancements based on the organs of Stowe School for bold fiery reeds and All Saints Hove for warm rounded diapasons. We also took inspiration from All Saints Leamington Spa and St Asaph Cathedral.
- Built our first custom instrument and introduced moving drawstop instruments which, until then, had not been available in a Viscount instrument. This was the beginning of providing a ladder of different levels and enhanced instruments for customers to aspire to, which matched the choice offered by other competitors.
- This year saw the introduction of the revolutionary physical modelling platform, Physis, to generate the organ sound. This took 5 years of development before it was ready for the launch at Romsey Abbey in the UK by Carlo Curley. At this time we redesigned our UK instruments and to distinguish these from the continental models we use the names Cadet, Envoy and Regent. At the same time we carried out a complete literature overhaul. Read more about Physis here.
- With the introduction of Physis, and the introduction of custom building features – we saw a significant change in the venues that contacted us to select a Regent Classic, the custom built Viscount organ, as their new or first organ. Some venues included: Yarm School brand new concert hall; Guildhall School of Music brand new concert hall; St German’s Cathedral; Northampton Cathedral; Highgate School Chapel; and St John’s Wakefield.
- We were chosen to provide the hire organ for the Pope’s open-air service for the beatification of Cardin Newman in Cofton Park Birmingham. The ceremony was attended by more than 50,000 people.
- Llandaff Cathedral hired a Regent Classic for 2 years while their pipe organ was rebuilt. Our organ hire business gains ground.
- We refreshed our website with more photography, and audio downloads.
- We started to work with Jonathan Kingston, a professional organist, to create a series of musical tutorials – playing magnificent pieces on Viscount Organs.
- One of our Regent 356 instruments was hired for the 3 Choirs Festival (a week long festival for all things choral, organ and chamber music orientated)
- We welcomed new clients:
- United States Launch of Regent Classic, our sister brand, at the Boston AGO conference.
- Appointment of our US partner agent, Whitesel Music.
- This year we also undertook bigger opportunities to publicly promote the sound comparison between a Viscount digital church organ and traditional pipe organs in events like the Battle of the Organs in Dundee with Carol Williams.
- Momentum growing rapidly and this year marks a big growth point in the wider professional organ community supporting what we have been saying since 2006 – Viscount Organs offer a magnificent opportunity for a true organ sound.
- John Scott Whitley and D’Arcy Trinkwon worked with us to produce DVD’s in Selby Abbey, playing our Regent 356. This was an effort to help the Abbey raise funds towards their pipe organ rebuild.
- We welcomed new client venues like: St Peter’s Caversham (chose Regent Classic to replace an old Copeman Hart); Freemasons Hall (this is more than likely the largest ever single UK order for 20 small instruments to replace instruments in various rooms at the Central Grand Lodge in London); Manchester Cathedral purchased an Envoy 350-FV to cover the pipe organ rebuild; and The Great Hall Swansea University.
- We provide a free years RCO membership to all customers buying a new home practice instrument to help increase RCO membership and finance a greater range of teaching options.
- We launched our very popular Hymn of the Month musical tutorial series (in collaboration with Jonathan Kingston).
- We held a large scale organ quiz competition to give away a £10,000 instrument to the winning entry. Through this campaign we gained ground in demonstrating the audio magnificence of the digital church organ rivals that of the pipe. You can read the story about the 22 year old organ player who won the organ for his parish church.
- Regent Classic Custom organs were installed in St Mary Chagrove, Normanton Baptist Church and St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church Dundalk.
- International Concert Artist Joseph Nolan does a UK tour playing 6 of our organs and a DVD on a custom instrument in Selby Abbey.
- Envoy and Regent organs features explained on in online video tutorials
- We support the London Organ Outreach Programme delivering the first 3 of 5 long term loan instruments into East End London Schools to allow access to the organ to pupils that would not otherwise have a school instrument
- Launched our own series of organ speakers and speaker casings
- Improved Chorum range of sampled sound instruments introduced to replace Cadet.
- Chethams School Manchester orders a Viscount Organs for its new Stoller Concert Hall
- The Royal Northern College of Music order a new Viscount to add to their teaching facilities.
- New Regent Classic instruments ordered by the Leys School Cambridge and the United Grand Lodge of England for Room 10 in London
- St Mary’s Melton Mowbray hire and Envoy 35-F to cover their pipe organ rebuild, part of a £1 million refurbishment
- Tewksbury Abbey hire an Envoy 35 to cover their pipe organ repair period.
- Wells Cathedral hire an Envoy 23-S needed due to organ blower repairs.
- Canterbury Cathedral hire a Regent Classic instrument for 2 years while the pipe organ is rebuilt.
- Wellington Cathedral New Zealand order a 4 manual Regent Classic instrument to replace the pipe organ destroyed in the 2016 earthquake.
- Chamber Organ introduced by Regent Classic custom organ division.
- Skinner replica console is built by Regent Classic and Skinner voice models developed for use in it.
- York Minster hires 2 instruments for 2 years while the pipe organ is rebuilt.
- Our Skinner Style Organ is played for the Papal Mass in Abu Dhabi, by Paul Griffiths, FRCO (CEO of Dubai Airport)
Interested in trying one of our organs? Call us, on 01869 247333 or drop us an email. We have various opportunities for you to test a Viscount or speak to an existing customer.