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Thomas Trotter - Organ

“City of Birmingham-based organist Thomas Trotter is rightly regarded as one of the most brilliant concert organists currently on the world stage. ..... Trotter’s performances are invigorating, revealing the inner details of the music. He consistently chooses appropriate tempos and projects strong rhythm. His nuanced playing takes advantage of this instrument’s sensitive and responsive action. A virtuoso’s virtuoso, he harnesses his immaculate technique and musicianship to serve every aspect of the music.”

James Hildreth – The American Organist, December 2013

Thomas Trotter is one of Britain's most widely admired musicians, reflected in Her Majesty The Queen awarding him The Queen's Medal for Music on St Cecilia's Day 2020. He has had a special relationship with the City of Birmingham in England since he was appointed City Organist in 1983 after Sir George Thalben-Ball based at the city's renovated historic Town Hall where he is also Resident Organist of the magnificent Klais organ in Symphony Hall. 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 has been awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious Instrumentalist Award in recognition of his particular achievements as “one of the foremost exponents of the organist’s art”, International Performer of the Year Award for 2012 by the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and, in 2016, the Royal College of Organists Medal. The excellence of his musicianship has also long been recognised internationally in his musical partnerships. He has performed as soloist with conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Valery Gergiev, Sir Charles Mackerras and, amongst many others, succeeding generation’s Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sakari Oramo, Edward Gardner, Francois-Xavier Roth, Petri Sakari, Andris Nelsons and Thomas Sondergaard. He performs recitals in Berlin’s “Philharmonie” and “Konzerthaus”, the “Gewandhaus” in Leipzig, both the “Musikverein” and the “Konzerthaus” in Vienna alongside 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, London’s Royal Festival Hall 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. Other 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, St Olav Festival in Norway, Lapua Organ Festival and Turku in Finland, St Petersburg and Mannheim, the Västerås Organ Festival in Sweden, for the American Guild of Organists in Nashville and at the UK’s Three Choirs Festival.

Thomas Trotter made his first US appearance when he debuted with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 1987. Amongst many other highlights since then have been many 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, the re-inauguration of the Royal Festival Hall’s organ in 2014, 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 playing From the Canyons to the Stars at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. He became an exclusive recording artist for Decca in 1989. His most recent recording has him playing the complete solo pieces by Duruflé on the newly renovated organ at King’s College, Cambridge, which is on the College’s own label. The seven releases before that - 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.



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Ouverture de St-Paul by Mendelssohn, at the Festival Toulouse les Orgues
Fantasie & Fugue by Parry, at the Festival Toulouse les Orgues
Pomp and Circumstance March Number 1 by Elgar, at the Festival Toulouse les Orgues
“Toccata” from Duruflé’s Suite op.5 (King's College, Cambridge, 3rd July 2021)
Thomas Trotter discussing his album of the works of Duruflé (King's College, Cambridge, 3rd July 2021)
The full organ recital from Kings' College Cambridge is available on YouTube.
Pedal Variations on a theme of Paganini by Sir George Thalben-Ball on the new Mander Organ, Cranleigh School (10th September 2010)
Malvern College 150th Anniversary Gala Concert (St John’s Smith Square, 22nd March 2015)
The Town Hall Tradition
György Ligeti, Hungarian Rock & Wagner, Rienzi: Overture
Messiaen, Dieu parmi nous


COMPOSER Work Label / CD
  THE GRAND ORGAN of Birmingham; Town Hall Organ Transcriptions: Wagner, Saint-Saens, Mendelssohn HYPERION
LISZT Prelude and Fuge on Bach, Prometheus ARGO
REUBKE Sonata; Ingolstadt Munster, Germany
ALAIN Trois Danses, Deux Fantaisies, Litanies, etc. Nieuwe Kerk, Karwijk an Zee, Netherlands ARGO
WIDOR Symphonie Gothique, Trois Novelles Pieces, etc. St François-de-Sales, Lyon, France ARGO
SOLER Concertos for 2 Organs (with Peter Hurford); Salamanca Cathedral, Spain DECCA
MESSIAEN L'Ascension, Messe de la Pentecôte, Diptyque St Pierre, Douai, France DECCA
POULENC Organ Concerto
cond. Haitink, E.C.Y.O.
JANACEK Glagolitic Mass
cond. Dutoit, Montreal Symphony
Organ transcriptions from Birmingham Town Hall
LISZT Fantasia & Fugue on 'Ad nos, ad salutarem undam' Mersenburg Cathedral, Germany DECCA
  MOZART ORGAN FANTASIA Fantasia in F, K.608, Andante K.616, Adagio & Allegro K.594, etc. Reformed Church, Farmsum, Netherlands DECCA
MESSIAEN Les Corps Glorieux, Le Banquet Céleste; Münster Church, Bad Säckingen, Germany DECCA
DUPRE Passion Symphony, 2nd Symphony, etc. Princeton University Chapel, USA DECCA
JANACEK Glagolitic Mass cond. Chailly, Vienna Philharmonic
Works for Organ, Organ of Salisbury Cathedral
Transcriptions by Handel, Thalben-Ball, WT Best, Ireland, Lemare, Bizet and Wagner; Organ of Birmingham Town Hall
Organ of the Royal Albert Hall
Virtuoso organ showpieces from the Town Hall, Birmingham
The new Mander organ of St Giles Cripplegate
CPE BACH Organ works played on the Mitterreither (1773)/ Flentrop (1973) organ of Eton College School Hall REGCD314
SCHUMANN Works for organ or pedal piano, played on the Ladegast organ of Merseburg Cathedral REGCD347