Douglas Bruce was born and grew up in Scotland, and educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh (as was also the former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair). On leaving school he was invited to become Organist and Choirmaster at Edinburgh’s Augustine Congregational Church by its then minister, the noted hymnologist Dr. Erik Routley. While still in his teens he was appointed Director of Music at the Reid Memorial Church, presiding for over three years at one of Edinburgh’s finest organs, while preparing for a career in accountancy. He later moved to London, becoming assistant organist at St. Columba’s Church of Scotland, Pont Street. During this time he took up organ studies with Noel Rawsthorne at Liverpool Cathedral, and obtained the ARCO, ARCM (magna cum laude) and LRAM diplomas in organ performance.
In 1974 he became Deputy Chief Accountant at the Bank for International Settlements, Basel, and has lived subsequently in Switzerland. He has continued his organ studies under Felix Pachlatko (Basel Cathedral), and in 2006 participated in master classes under Kevin Bowyer and Dame Gillian Weir, and in 2004, 2006 and 2009 under Prof. Ludger Lohmann of Stuttgart.
Following early retirement in 2001 from the world of banking, Douglas devotes his time fully to organ-playing, and is a much-traveled recitalist. In this capacity he has visited 22 states of the USA, playing in 11 cathedrals – including Washington National Cathedral, St. Mary’s, San Francisco (twice), and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles (twice) – as well as at major churches in many parts of the country, including St. Thomas’, Fifth Avenue, New York, Fourth Presbyterian, Chicago, and Trinity Church, Boston. In Canada and Europe (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) he has visited a further 18 cathedrals, including that of Liverpool, which houses the UK’s largest organ. His appearances at academic venues include the universities of Harvard, Edinburgh and Princeton, Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum, and Dundee’s Caird Hall.
In summer, Douglas played several recitals in Germany, including the Marktkirche in Halle (featuring the instrument on which George Frideric Handel had his first organ lessons).
Since the beginning of 2010 Douglas has been organist at the Reformed Church of Biel-Benken, near Basel. In addition to his solo recital and teaching activities, he partners the Swiss flutist Myriam Hidber Dickinson in Duo Mydo. The duo has performed in France, Germany and Switzerland, and made its first USA appearance in October 2010.
Myriam Hidber Dickinson was born and brought up in Switzerland. She received a BA in music, after study with Felix Renggli at the Schaffhausen Music Academy, and studied with Marianne Stucki to obtain an MA in music at the Zurich Conservatory.
Currently she has a very active performing career in various chamber music groups (with modern as well as historical instruments) in Switzerland, Brazil, Italy, Austria, the USA and France. In addition she has appeared as soloist with various orchestras in Switzerland, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Egypt. In 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, and 2005 her teaching and concert tours brought her into contact with music conservatories, universities and orchestras in Brazil and Angola, and in numerous cities throughout Indonesia.
She continues her studies with Philipp Racine (flute) at the Zurich Conservatory and with Cosimo Lampis (percussion and ethnomusicology), and teaches at various music schools in the Zurich area.