World-renowned organ virtuoso to play at Marchmont House centennial concert

Thomas Trotter
Thomas Trotter

One of the world’s leading concert organists, Thomas Trotter, is set perform a special concert at Marchmont House, Duns this November to mark the centenary of the historic home’s majestic concert organ and Music Room.

The Music Room was designed by celebrated Scottish architect and furniture designer, Sir Robert Lorimer, a leading exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement who completed a makeover of Marchmont House in 1919, almost 170 years after it was originally built.

The room included a magnificent pipe organ crafted by William Hill & Son and Norman Beard and housed in an intricately designed Lorimer case. Both the room and organ were masterpieces of the craftsmanship Lorimer brought to Marchmont House, which is now establishing itself as a home for makers and creators, celebrating creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The organ recently underwent a complete overhaul as part of an eight-year restoration at Marchmont. After almost 100 years of service, it had become unplayable so over 18 months, Rosyth’s Forth Pipe Organs Ltd dismantled and removed the instrument from its case and restored and repaired its 1,962 pipes, its bellows and soundboards before reinstalling it behind its elegant Lorimer screen, ready for a new century of music-making.

As one of the UK’s most admired musicians, Thomas Trotter has performed with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle and has given recitals at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Konzerthaus Vienna and at London’s Royal Festival Hall. He is also the organist at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster.

On November 6 at Marchmont House, supported by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, he will perform a special Centennial Recital that includes works by J S Bach and Edward Elgar.

Hugo Burge, Director of Marchmont Farms Ltd, owners of Marchmont House, said: “The Music Room and organ are such an important part of Lorimer’s arts and crafts heritage here at Marchmont that we felt their centenary deserved to be recognised through the talents of a virtuoso like Thomas Trotter, who is recognised as one of the most brilliant concert organists on the world stage. Sir Robert Lorimer’s influence has been one of the inspirations behind our vision for Marchmont as a place where craftsmanship, creativity, sustainability and community are celebrated and encouraged so we hope that the public will join us for what promises to be a wonderful evening of music in an inspiring and historic setting.”

Mark Richards, Private Clients Director, Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, said: “Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers is delighted to sponsor and support the Thomas Trotter pipe organ recital at Marchmont House to celebrate this important anniversary. The combination of hearing this widely acclaimed musician play such an important instrument within these surroundings is both exciting and a privilege.”

At the Marchmont House Centennial Recital, Thomas Trotter will perform the following:

J.S. Bach 1685-1750 Toccata & Fugue in D minor BWV 565

J.C. Bach 1685-1750 Concerto in D Op 1 no 6

Allegro assai – Andanta – Allegro moderato

C.V. Stanford 1852-1924 Prelude on an old Irish melody

A. Rowley 1982-1958 Rustic Suite

Sunlit morning – June Idyll

The Gentle Shepherd – Rustic Scherzo

K.Volans b 1949 Walking Song

E. Elgar 1892-1958 Pomo & Circumstance March No 1

The recital is part of a programme of special events which the Directors of Marchmont House hope will showcase creativity and craftsmanship in many spheres and celebrate and encourage the work of makers and creators in the arts and business. Events held to date include a sculpture workshop featuring some of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists, tours of the sculptures at Marchmont House, a special event showcasing contemporary makers who work with wood, and a celebration of the work of architect and furniture-maker Ernest Gimson, one of the most influential designers of the Arts and Crafts movement. A programme of house tours also shares an insight into the architecture and craftsmanship of the house itself, in addition to its collections of art dating from 1460 to the present day.

The Centennial Organ Recital takes place at Marchmont House on Wednesday 6 November 2019 and is sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers. Pre-booking is required and each ticket purchased helps Marchmont towards its dream of building sustainable creativity and preserving yesterday’s handcrafted skills for generations to come.

Members of the public are being encouraged to attend and tickets are available to purchase through Marchmont’s Eventbrite Page