Thomas Trotter

Categories: IPYA Winners

Thomas Trotter is one of Britain’s most widely admired musicians. He has a special relationship with the City of Birmingham in England, where he was appointed City Organist in 1983 in succession to Sir George Thalben-Ball, based in the city’s recently renovated historic Town Hall and where in addition he is Resident Organist of the magnificent new Klais organ at Symphony Hall. He is also Organist at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, in London and Visiting Fellow in Organ Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. Earlier in his career he was organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and he later continued his studies with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris where he took the Prix de Virtuosité in her class.

Thomas Trotter is a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious Instrumentalist Award in recognition of his particular achievements and as “one of the foremost exponents of the organist’s art”. The excellence of his musicianship has also long been recognised internationally in his musical partnerships. He performs as soloist with, amongst many others, the conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly and Sir Charles Mackerras. He performs recitals in Berlin’s “Philharmonie”, the “Gewandhaus” in Leipzig, both the “Musikverein” and the “Konzerthaus” in Vienna and London’s Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall, at the major new venues of Moscow’s “International Performing Arts Centre” and Budapest’s “Palace of Arts”. He was consultant for the Marcussen organ in Manchester’s newly built Bridgewater Hall as well as for the new Klais organ in Birmingham at Symphony Hall and he has given the opening recital on new or restored organs in places such as Cleveland’s “Severance Hall” (Ohio), Princeton University Chapel (New Jersey), the “Concertgebouw” in Amsterdam, and at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, alongside being regularly asked to perform on major historic instruments such as those at St. Ouen in Rouen, St. Bavo’s in Haarlem (Netherlands), Weingarten Abbey in Germany and Woolsey Hall at Yale University. He appears at the festivals of Salzburg, Berlin, Vienna, Edinburgh and London’s BBC Proms. He performs with leading orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic orchestras. Alongside his regular recitals in Birmingham, Thomas Trotter performs throughout the USA and Europe. Recent engagements include Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden in London, the UK premiere of Paul Ruders’ Organ Concerto, Christus Kirche Dresden, Lapua Organ Festival and Turku in Finland, St Petersburg and Mannheim. In 2012 Thomas Trotter appeared in recital at Västerås Organ Festival in Sweden, Konserthaus Berlin, for the American Guild of Organists in Nashville, and at the UK’s Three Choirs Festival.

Thomas Trotter made his first US appearance in 1987 when he debuted with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Amongst many other highlights since then have been several recitals at the Edinburgh International Festival and as soloist at an opening concert there in Janacek’s “Glagolitic Mass” conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, performing at the 50th Anniversary Concert of the Organ at the Royal Festival Hall, the re-inauguration of the Organ at the Royal Albert Hall, playing the solo organ part of Poulenc’s Organ Concerto for the Royal Ballet in “Voluntaries” at Covent Garden and in recital for the South Bank Centre’s Messiaen Festival – From the Canyons to the Stars – at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. He became an extensive recording artist for Decca in 1989. His seven most recent recordings – Elgar at Salisbury Cathedral, organ transcriptions from the newly restored Birmingham Town Hall, a collection ranging from Handel through to Litaize on the new Mander organ at St Giles Cripplegate (Critic’s Choice in Gramophone magazine Dec 2009), the organ works of CPE Bach from Eton College, Robert Schumann from the organ of Merseburg Cathedral Germany (Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Jan 2011), Grand Organ Prom on the renovated organ at the Royal Albert Hall and The Town Hall Tradition from Birmingham Town Hall all appear on the Regent label. Of his many other CDs he received a Grand Prix du Disque for his recording of music by Liszt.

Click here to listen to performances by Thomas Trotter and conversation with Michael Barone on Pipedreams.

Thomas Trotter presented his recital for the International Performer of the Year Award at The Riverside Church on February 18, 2013 as part of the Chapter’s Presidents Day Conference.