Home Opus List Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Sydney Conservatorium of Music


  • Built by Pogson in 1973
  • 3 manual & pedal, 37 stop, mechanical action
  • SIOC rebuild completed September 2001.

The Sydney Conservatorium 1973 Pogson organ was rebuilt as part of the refurbishment of the Verbrugghen Hall. The refurbished instrument features new pre-tensioned, low mass, self regulating, mechanical key-action and flexible wind-pressure regulation systems based on mass loaded schwimmer regulators designed by Lynn Kirkham of UWA in Perth.

The new piston capture system designed by Muldersoft Organ Systems of Auckland features 112 memory levels divided into 7 user areas, each with pin-number access and 1535-step sequencer divided into 16 “Items” of 96 steps.

The former Ruck-Positive division has been reconfigured behind the console as a Brustwerk-Positive to suit the new orchestral/choral stage plan. Very few changes have been made to the original specification although the voicing has been made warmer.

Stops on the Swell division have been modified by reconstituting the Mixture with an additional 4th rank and lowered pitch. A new Voix Celeste 8' has been substituted for the former Tertian Mixture and the 4’ Spitzflute has been transposed to 2’ and the 2’ Principal to 4’.

The organ has been brought forward 600mm and raised up 600mm on a new floor in its former quarter-dome niche position and is a striking feature of the room. The Hall has been transformed into a wonderful concert room with beautiful acoustics and comfortable seating for 550 persons with a stage designed to accommodate a full symphony orchestra and choir. The consultants were David Rumsey and Robert Ampt. Designers of the new organ were SIOC’s John and Ian Hargraves and the voicer was John Gray.

“Although the Pogson organ was in a sad state of repair when we dismantled it, we had no doubt that it had the potential to be an excellent instrument for much less cost than a totally new organ. It had suffered massive damage from moth infestation, from resin bleeding timber, from leather and rubbercloth rotting, from some minor design errors, heavy usage and lack of maintenance.

The key-action was very worn, unresponsive and heavy. The electric stop-action was very unreliable and noisy. The pipes were choked with dust and the sound locked up in the operatic curtains. However the organ was well planned and built of high quality materials in its essentials. I believe that the high quality of the finished organ, which is now a pleasure to play and listen to.” John Hargraves, SIOC Director


Bourdon          16’
Principal           8’
Rohr Flute         8’
Octave              4’
Nachthorn         4’
Nasard          2 2/3’
Fifteenth           2'
Blockflute         2’
Tierce            1 3/5’
Mixture             V
Trumpet            8’
Positive to Great
Swell to Great

Hohl Flute        8’
Salicional         8’
Voix Celeste    8’
Principal          4’
Spitzflute         2’
Mixture           IV
Dulzian          16’
Trompette        8'

Gedackt         8’
Principal         4'
Rohr Flute      4’
Gemshorn      2’
Sesquialtera  I I
Larigot        1 1/3’
Sifflute           1’
Scharff          IV
Cromorne       8’
Swell to Positive

Principal       16’
Subbass       16’
Octave           8’
Choral Bass   4’
Mixture          IV
Trombone     16’
Trumpet         8’
Schalmei       4’
Kornett          2’
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Positive to Pedal

Playing Aids:
6 thumb pistons to Great, Swell and Positive.
12 General thumb pistons.
6 toe pistons to Pedal.
6 reversible toe pistons to the intermanual couplers.
Switch for Great and Pedal Pistons coupled.
Switch for Generals on toe pistons.
Next, Last, Restore, sequencer pistons.
General Cancel piston.
Setter piston.

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