Hanover, New Hampshire
Type of Organization
Instrument Makers or Repairers
Throughout his life Tom Prescott has had a passion for music and musical instruments as well as tools, design, and materials. He feels incredibly lucky to have entered a world where all of these elements could be applied in one field and followed to a level of perfection he never dreamed attainable.
From an early age, Tom worked to gain the skills he would need for his future in crafting fine recorders. At the age of 12 he bought a set of plans for a 13’ motorboat, built it, and then enjoyed it for the rest of his high school years. Attending Lake Forest College, he took every music course the department offered, graduating with special honors based on his thesis, a transcription and history of Alessandro Striggio’s Ecce beatam lucem, a 40 voice motet. During his college years summers were spent at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. During the summer of 1970, a performance of the Sammartini Concerto in C for soprano recorder and orchestra spurred his interest in the recorder. The performer, Tom Butts, was studying at the University of Iowa with Robert Donnington and thus was an excellent guide in those adolescent years of early music performance. From then on, Tom played recorder every chance he got. After graduating from Lake Forest College in 1973, he was hired by world famous recorder maker Friedrich von Huene and began his career making recorders.
Shortly after joining the von Huene shop, Tom began to moonlight repairing recorders for the Von Huene shop and doing Moeck warranty work. This gave him invaluable experience with voicing, tuning, and maintenance. It also produced the income necessary to assemble the tools, machinery, and wood needed to launch his own business. He sold his first instruments, Grenser baroque flute reproductions, in 1975 and left the von Huene shop shortly thereafter. The first recorder sold under the Prescott name was shipped in December of that year. Since then the offerings of the Prescott Workshop have expanded to eleven Baroque recorders, five Transitional instruments and eleven renaissance recorders. The renaissance instruments came about through an enduring friendship with Bob Marvin who gave him the design and techniques learned though his study and manufacture of those instruments. To date the workshop has made over 4600 instruments. Prescott recorder owners can be found all over the world. His renaissance recorders have become the standard at a=440 in the US. While most are in the hands of amateurs and can be seen at major early music workshops in America, they can also be found at many prestigious music schools including: Oberlin Conservatory in the U.S, Trinity College in London, the Lyon Conservatory in France and the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen. Notable professionals that play them include the members of Flanders Consort and Palisander.
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