RCO Medals announced for three distinguished musicians

RCO Medals announced for three distinguished musicians


The Royal College of Organists is to recognise the achievements of three distinguished musicians and scholars by awarding them its highest honour, the RCO Medal.

The 2016 recipients of the RCO Medal are:

Prof. John Caldwell, in recognition of distinguished achievement in organ-related scholarship.

Dr Christopher Robinson CVO, CBE in recognition of distinguished achievement in organ playing and choral conducting.

Dr Thomas Trotter, in recognition of distinguished achievement in organ playing.

The honorands will receive the RCO Medal at the College’s Conferment of Diplomas at Southwark Cathedral on 12th March 2016.

Awarded for the first time in 2012, The Medal of the Royal College of Organists (‘The RCO Medal’) recognises distinguished achievement in one or more of the following areas relating to organ and choral music: performance, teaching, scholarship, composition, organ-building, conducting, administration, and philanthropy; it is also available to recognise specific service to the College.

During a distinguished career, Prof. John Caldwell held positions at Bristol University and Oxford University. He became Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford in 1999 and became Emeritus Fellow on his retirement in 2005. He has published many books, articles and editions on Medieval and Renaissance music, music theory and keyboard music, and in particular has greatly enhanced our knowledge of English keyboard music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Essays on the History of English Music, ‘in honour of John A. Caldwell’ were published by The Boydell Press in 2010.

Dr Christopher Robinson has held several senior appointments. After a period as Organist and Master of the Choristers at Worcester Cathedral, where he was also conductor of several Three Choirs Festivals, he moved to St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where he was Organist and Choirmaster until 1991. He then held the prestigious post of Organist and Director of Music at St John’s College, Cambridge. He was conductor of the City of Birmingham Choir from 1964 to 2002, and of the Oxford Bach Choir from 1976 to 1997.

In 1992 Her Majesty The Queen bestowed on him the honour of Commander of the Victorian Order for his services at Windsor Castle, and in the summer of 2002, the Archbishop of Canterbury made him a Lambeth DMus. Her Majesty The Queen again honoured him by appointing him CBE in the 2004 New Year’s Honours List.

Thomas Trotter is one of Britain’s most widely admired musicians. The excellence of his musicianship is reflected internationally in his musical partnerships. He performs as soloist with, amongst many others, the conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink, and Riccardo Chailly. He has performed in Berlin’s Philharmonie, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus in Vienna, and London’s Royal Festival Hall.

In May 2002, he was the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society award for Best Instrumentalist, the first organist ever to win this award, and in 2012 he was presented the International Performer of the Year Award by the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Thomas Trotter was appointed Birmingham City Organist in 1983 in succession to Sir George Thalben-Ball, and he is also Organist at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, 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, winning the First Prize at the St Albans International Organ Competition in his final year.

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