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Thomas Trotter

  • Organist


Thomas Trotter press reviews

LONDON (St. Gile’s Cripplegate) “ The audience was not disappointed; this was one of the best recitals I have attended in recent times; the combination of one of the greatest players of this, or any, age and an outstanding organ made for a superb evening of music.”

Choir and Organ magazine, July/Aug 2008

BIRMINGHAM (Symphony Hall – a concert of all six Bach Trio Sonatas)


 “Trotter’s brilliance as an executant and interpretive musician made everything seem quite effortless.  Fast outer movements were thrown off with marvelous clarity, precision, and a spirited panache that belied their difficulty – No. 5 was positively joyous, and never has a concluding fugue sounded so perky – while the slow central movements were often meltingly beautiful in their elegant phrasing, articulation and expressive registration.”

Birmingham Post, June 1, 2009

LONDON (Royal Albert Hall)  “A very fine performance indeed … immaculate and stunningly clear.”

Organists’ Review

(Royal Festival Hall)  “… a performance of pyrotechnical wizardry where great contrasts provided episodes of exuberant colour.  This was really enjoyable and fun stuff.”

The Organ
“His playing captured the energy and lyricism of the work, culminating in a furious cadenza for pedals alone in which Trotter displayed some truly fancy footwork.”

Daily Telegraph

“The climax of [Barber’s Toccata Festiva] was a combination of musical and athletic prowess: a punishing cadenza for the organ’s pedals, which Trotter played with virtuosity and stamina.”

The Guardian

“Everything was magically crisp, clear and crunchy – I’ve never heard Trotter play better.”

The Independent

“wondrous performance … Trotter – one of the great Messiaen players … astonishingly musical playing … from its most introspective moments to its thunderous climaxes, the music was delivered by Trotter with clarity and a profound sensitivity.”

The Herald

“With magnificent swirlings and buttresses of sound from the hall’s organ in the closing solo, the sense of arrival and exaltation was complete.”

The Daily Telegraph

(The Proms, Royal Albert Hall)        “Bruckner was one of the organists invited to inaugurate the Albert Hall organ in 1871 ... But I doubt if even Bruckner would have been able to match the virtuosity of the amazingly gifted young player, Thomas Trotter, who seemed able to command more colors and resonances from the huge instrument than anyone before him.”

Daily Telegraph

BIRMINGHAM (Inaugural concert at Symphony Hall)  “With their none too blatant but deeply musical qualities, instrument and player matched each other.  A wonderful recital.”

The Independent

CLEVELAND    “Trotter played nimbly and with stylistic rightness … with sure technique and fine comprehension of the different styles involved.”

American Record Guide

SAN FRANCISCO   (San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor)
“The soloist was Thomas Trotter, organist to the City of Birmingham, and noted concert artist.  His playing, delicate and fine fingered, sensitively voiced and phrased ...”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Trotter showed style and imagination in his improvisations ...”

San Francisco Examiner

ST. LOUIS    “Organist Thomas Trotter plays the King of Instruments in a manner that sets other organists to gasping, if not provoking downright envy.  A brilliant virtuoso, Trotter found the right touch for everything from Bach to contemporary works, and he offered a varied program that allowed him to amply demonstrate his gifts.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

MADISON, WI     (Inaugural concert at Overture Hall)      “ORGAN DEDICATION HITS THE RIGHT NOTES: Throughout the evening Trotter charmed the audience with playful commentary, skillful playing and some fancy footwork … The performance was as stunning to hear as it was to watch.”             

The Capital Times

“Trotter’s impeccable articulation … Trotter’s deft footwork … A thunderous ovation … Overture Hall is lucky to boast a landmark pipe organ, and it couldn’t have had a more able advocate than Thomas Trotter.”

American Record Guide

MILWAUKEE  “ORGANIST TROTTER’S SKILL THRILLS AUDIENCE: ... an engrossing demonstration of technique and musicianship.”

Milwaukee Sentinel

PORTLAND, OR     “Trotter treated the audience to a wide range of the organ’s potential ... and the Rosales organ sounded different in every piece, as the organist skillfully exploited the organ's capabilities for orchestration.”

The Oregonian

CALGARY    “... his mature musicianship and superlative coloristic sense aside, Trotter is also a rock-solid technical player, capable of drawing gasps from even the ... foremost performers in the audience.”

The American Organist
(Royal Festival Hall)  “... it may be worth emphasizing that Mr. Trotter’s playing ... combines an immaculate but undemonstrative technique with a penetrating, thinking musicality that is generally associated with artists twice his age.  I think it was the best Festival Hall recital I have attended.”

Musical Times
(Royal Festival Hall - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Litton, conducting Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3)      “Thomas Trotter negotiated his prominent role with conspicuous dash.”

The Times
HAMILTON, ON     “... the first chords ... established that Thomas Trotter completely deserves his high repute in the organ world.  His technical prowess, although it is able to make light of all problems, is, nevertheless, the servant of a musical intelligence that is both mature and versatile.”

The American Organist
BIRMINGHAM (Birmingham Town Hall)  “A capacity audience heard Thomas Trotter play a challenging program ... with impressive artistry and the technical mastery that places him firmly in the top echelon of international recitalists ... His performance of George Thalben-Ball’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini for pedals alone was a tour-de-force of near unbelievable virtuosity ... This piece was chosen to display the versatility and flexibility of the newly rebuilt organ in addition to exposing Trotter’s fabulous talent.”

Birmingham Evening Mail (UK)
(City of Birmingham Symphony, Simon Rattle, conductor)            “... Trotter as a soloist in Poulenc’s idiomatic Concerto in G minor for Organ, Strings and Timpani raised the emotional temperature of [the] concert ... In all, it was Trotter’s night, with the orchestra playing an accompanying role.”

Birmingham Evening Mail

Newcastle Herald

TUSCALOOSA        “... we were treated to the stunning virtuosity of Thomas Trotter.”

The American Organist
BELFAST     (Ulster Hall)    “The program offered much for all tastes, and in everything he played, one was impressed not only by the technical ability of this splendid young musician, but also by the ease with which he explored the resources of this instrument and the absence of fuss and unnecessary movement.”

Belfast Telegraph
HUDDERSFIELD    (Town Hall)    “Mr. Trotter is indeed a remarkable player.  His keyboard and pedal techniques, both amply displayed in his incredible recital, are devastating ... Out of all the energetic movement comes the most marvelously un-panicked music.”

Huddersfield Examiner
WICHITA     “…if anyone can demystify the organ and its music, Trotter can … His precise presentations and indelible artistry would be welcome on any instrument.  On the majestic organ, his musicianship speaks as a Godsend.”

The Wichita Eagle
Recording REVIEWs

Thomas Trotter C.P.E Bach Organ Works

“He [Thomas Trotter] brings both cogency and freedom to his performances that feed the mind while beguiling the senses. In Trotter’s hands, it is easy to understand why Mozart so admired C.P.E.’s music and to hear how it influenced him.  A charming and illuminating disc.”

Christopher Maxim, Organists’ Review (May 2010)

Restored to Glory – Thomas Trotter, Birmingham Town Hall

“Deep mahogany tone colours and a long-suppressed brilliance are displayed in Thomas Trotter’s show-off civic entertainment programme … Superb playing, superbly recorded: a must-have CD.”

Choir and Organ magazine, Jan/Feb 2008

“Trotter, who next year will mark 25 years as Birmingham City Organist, satisfyingly employs the vast resources of the William Hill instrument to its full speaker-rattling capacity.”

“After some deliciously un-PC Handel, Trotter displays the kind of footwork that would have made Fred Astaire envious in Thalben-Ball’s virtuoso Paganini Variations for pedals alone.”

“But then in Thalben-Ball’s Elegy, Trotter reminds us what a meticulous colorist he is.  In Best’s fantasia on Men of Farlesh and Lemare’s Carmen Suite, his rhythmic panache and incisive attack send a shiver down the spine.”

Gramophone Magazine, Jan. 2008

“Edwin Lemare is acknowledged as one of the greatest organ virtuosos of all time, but I wouldn’t put money on him in a straight bout with Trotter, unquestionably one of today’s greatest organists, who is here on unbeatable form.”

International Record Review, Jan. 2008

Chanson de Matin; Sir Edward Elgar – Works for Organ  -Thomas Trotter at the organ of Salisbury Cathedral

“Trotter’s musicianship and technique is of the highest order, the playing is compelling, and he marshals the resources of the instrument with great skill throughout.”  “A first-rate performer, playing fine music, on the right instrument.  What more could one ask for?”

Organists’ Review, August 2007

Sounds Phenomenal: Thomas Trotter plays virtuoso Organ Music at Symphony Hall Birmingham

“Once again, Thomas Trotter sets out to prove virtuosity and succeeds mightily.  The Klais is a virtuoso instrument; Symphony Hall is a virtuoso setting, and Trotter is simply the virtuoso.  His programming is refreshingly charged, with a flow that keeps the classic and the contemporary interposed.  ‘Phenomenal’ is not an inappropriate word to describe this recording … Trotter is a phenomenal virtuoso; you’ll hear things you’ve never heard in pieces you’ve heard many, many times.  Outstanding.”

The American Organist, June 2006

Sounds Spectacular: Thomas Trotter plays organ showpieces at Symphony Hall, Birmingham

“Trotter’s performances of Duruflé’s Suite and Boëllmann’s Suite gothique are quite simply the best on disc. … Trotter manages to combine a refined stylistic sense and innate musical taste with fascinatingly detailed coloration and breathtaking virtuosity. This is unquestionably one of the finest organ recordings. I have ever heard, and confirms Trotter as one of today’s greatest living organists.” 5 STARS

BBC Music Magazine

“There is much that is spectacular about what is heard.  Anyone familiar with Thomas Trotter’s playing knows that it will be precise and economic, registered and embellished in the most elegant manner.  The programming is to be complimented as well.”

The American Organist

“For once a name like Sounds Spectacular is apt.  Trotter displays the spice and breadth of the Klais organ in Symphony Hall.  There is a sizzling performance of Duruflé’s Suite Op. 5, and a suitably massive rendition of Böellmann’s Suite Gothique.”                            

Choir & Organ

            “devastating performance … exhilarating … very highly recommended.”

The Organ

Pulling Out All the Stops

“… in a spectacular demonstration encompassing composers from several ages and from around the world … Trotter’s technique is exemplary … Bravo, indeed!”

The American Organist

“The mantle of Sir George Thalben-Ball sits easily enough on the shoulders of his successor at Birmingham, Thomas Trotter ... (the recording) is a blazing triumph.  One is amazed and delighted by the amount of detail that Thomas Trotter gets in, but it’s more than just fun: it’s also a moving program ... Marvelous stuff.”
“Trotter is the Birmingham City Organist, having ascended to that prestigious honor in 1983 ... [Town hall instruments] served to acquaint the population with both the organ literature and a broad variety of transcriptions.  The accent fell on virtuosity in performance.  To this tradition has Trotter brilliantly been born.”

“... played with absolute assurance by the City Organist.  Trotter, more than any other organist I can readily think of, has the gift of great pianists in making light of technical difficulties ...”

Organist’s Review
“If you want an organ record simply to enjoy the music and playing, run – don’t walk – to get this disc.  Trotter’s knowledge and artistry in using the instrument is elegant and his playing is simply superb.”

The Diapason
            “vibrant and exciting … chimerically magic”

Choir & Organ

Liszt & Reubke

“Here is virtuoso stuff! Trotter offers a uniquely riveting performance of B.A.C.H. … The Reubke is given a mature reading, with the virtues of technical brilliance, emotional depth and use of organ color nicely balanced.”

Organist’s Review
            “... the virtuosity of Trotter’s performance is electrifying.”

The Musical Times

            “Trotter’s technical mastery of Liszt’s idiom is nothing short of staggering.”

CD Review

“... played by one of the leading and most brilliant players of the present day.  The result is totally compelling.  Trotter has an instinctive intellectual grasp of Alain’s oeuvre and the formidable technique to sail over its physical challenges ... an overwhelming experience.”

Organists’ Review

“Thus to hear a player of Thomas Trotter’s similarly prodigious technique play these works on the vastly colourful and occasionally thunderous Princeton organ is to experience Dupré afresh …”
Organists’ Review