Thursday 18th October – Thomas Trotter – Organ
Performance: 3:00 pm Thu, 18 Oct 2018, St Mary's Church, Totnes
With many breath-taking artists taking to the stage during the festival, Two Moors took the time to interview Organist, Thomas Trotter who is hailed as one of the most brilliant organists in the world today and who will make his festival debut on 18th October at St Mary’s Church in Totnes.
Mr Trotter’s programme of music for the festival includes Widor’s famous Toccata, Ginastera’s Toccata written in 1947 and to finish, Thomas will play his own transcription of Rossini’s Overture to his opera, The Thieving Magpie – a piece that will involve speed and dexterity!
- At what age did you experience your first taster of classical music?
My mother was a great lover of classical music although when I was growing up the radio was always tuned to Radio 2 rather than Radio 3.
The short answer is I can't really remember, but I bought my first classical recording at the age of 11 which was John Ogden playing the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no 1. I was captivated by the opulent sound of a symphony orchestra and the grand gestures of the music. John Ogden was the great piano virtuoso of the day – he played so many notes with such clarity it was as if he had three hands.
- What is it you particularly like about this genre of music / how does it make you feel when you listen to classical music?
All good music has the power to transport the listener to another world without having to leave one’s seat! It expresses that which words cannot, and the world would be a very dull place without it.
- What drew you to this particular instrument?
I came to the organ via the piano, an instrument I was obsessed with from as early as I can remember. My piano teacher at school was also the organist and he introduced me to the organ when I was 11. It immediately became my passion, with its multiple keyboards, amazing variety of colour and huge dynamic range – all little boys like to make a lot of noise! Unfortunately, I was physically very small for my age and it was a good 2 years before I was tall enough to play the pedals properly.
- How long have you been playing for?
- Do you have a favourite artist / group / choir, and why?
One of my favourite classical organists is the Dutch early music specialist Ton Koopman. His playing lifts the music off the page and makes it come alive. His performances have a wonderful spontaneity and his use of ornamentation always makes me smile. I have several favourite choirs all of whom are British! I've worked a few times with the Kings Singers and I am always bowled over by their versatility and musicianship. In the world of Cathedral music, the choir of St John's College Cambridge would be hard to beat, while the Monteverdi Choir represents the best of the London- based professional choirs.
- Where did you first experience classical music in a live setting?
My parents were always extremely supportive of my pursuing a musical career, although it would never have occurred to them to take me to a classical concert. So, I suppose my first live experience of classical music was hearing the school orchestra at the age of 14. Soon afterwards I was drafted in as its timpani player. Being a keyboard player, I am hopeless at counting bars rests, so I often used to come in either at the wrong time or else not at all. Playing the organ is so much more straightforward…
- Have you attended Two Moors festival previously? What was your experience of it? If you haven’t attended before what are your expectations?
This is my first experience of the festival. The number of venues in the Two Moors area with suitable organs is limited, but Totnes certainly counts as one. I played there almost exactly thirty years ago, and I am looking forward to returning in October.