Dominic Gwynn MA, HonRCO (1953–2024)

Dominic Gwynn MA, HonRCO (1953–2024)

It was with great sadness that the College learnt of the death of Dominic Gwynn on 24 May.

Dominic made an outstanding contribution to the craft of organ-building over the last forty-five years, and contributed ground-breaking scholarship on the history of the organ in the British Isles to numerous articles and publications.

With the late Martin Goetze, Dominic founded the firm Goetze & Gwynn in September 1980, starting with a small workshop in Northampton and, from 1985, in a purpose-built workshop at Welbeck, Nottinghamshire. The aim was to work with a small team of committed organ-builders, who were flexible and proficient in a complete range of skills. The firm had, and retains, an interest in classical organs with mechanical key and stop actions, and in re-creating the musical culture of the past. Goetze & Gwynn’s main interest has been in the revival of the early and classical English organ, and to date it has carried out around 130 projects, one third of them new organs based on historic models, and the rest restorations, from clockwork barrel organs to large three-manual organs. Dominic’s skills, imagination, and scholarship have been at the centre of these many projects. In the first category were the three organs reconstructed from archaeological evidence surviving from the Tudor period. Two of these instruments (the Wetheringsett and the Wingfield Organs) are owned by the College.

In recognition of his distinguished achievement in organ-building and scholarship, in particular with respect to UK organ heritage, the Medal of the Royal College of Organists was awarded to Dominic at the RCO Conferment Ceremony at Southwark Cathedral on 9 March this year (pictured). Click here to read the full RCO Medal citation.

We offer our condolences to Dominic’s family.

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