The Russell and Mirrey Collections of Early Keyboard Instruments
The Russell and Mirrey Collections of Early Keyboard Instruments, housed in St Cecilia's Hall, illustrate the history of keyboard instruments from the 16th to the 19th centuries and represent two of the most important collections of their kind. They attract musicians, instrument makers and organologists, as well as students and non-professional visitors, from all over the world. The Collections consist of over 50 instruments including harpsichords, spinets, virginals, clavichords, organs and fortepianos. All are authentic examples from the historical period, and many retain important and interesting original features.
The Russell Collection was assembled by Raymond Russell (1922–64) and given to the University of Edinburgh by his mother, Mrs Gilbert Russell, in 1964 after his death. The University added further instruments, and in 2005 the Collections received a major boost with the donation of the Rodger Mirrey Collection.
A list of the keyboard instruments in the Edinburgh University Collections is given here.
Through the kind co-operation of the Curator of the Musical Instrument Collections with the support of the University of Edinburgh, many of the concerts in the Georgian Concert Society season feature instruments from the Collections. Audiences delight in the unique possibility of hearing music on instruments of the correct period and national school in an authentic acoustic provided by St Cecilia's Hall.
The large 5-octave French double-
manual harpsichord by Jean
Goermans and Pascal Taskin, Paris,
1764/83-84 is one of the many
instruments from the Russell
and Mirrey Collections used in GCS