Bradley Gawthrop has been involved in pipe organs and worship music from childhood. The son of noted composer Daniel E. Gawthrop, Bradley visited his first organ shop (Möller) at the age of eleven and recognized immediately that the craft represented the best possible overlap of his diverse obsessions in engineering, history, electronics, tools, and music.
Despite this early realization, Gawthrop intentionally pursued an eclectic professional life in areas as diverse as printing, graphics design, process management and software development with an eye towards developing as diverse a collection of skills as possible before settling down into his true vocation in organ building.
Once engaged full-time in the trade, Gawthrop again resisted specialization and set out to explore each area of the craft including organ construction, console construction and renovation, electrical specialities, service, and historic restoration before his typographic expertise drew him to developing speciality skills in engraving. Eventually Gawthrop would find himself running the engraving department of one of America's most respected console builders.
Having put in his Journeyman's years, Gawthrop went independent in 2009, forming Gawthrop Organworks. The firm's speciality was ostensibly historic restoration, but in addition to that it turned out a wide variety of other work, from rebuilds and renovations to the firm's Opus 1, a three manual 32 rank organ in an American Symphonic style, constructed almost entirely in Gawthrop's rural country workshop. In this period Gawthrop also designed and produced a new cutting edge solid state control system, 128-Stage electric expression shade motors, and the Valve and Chamber unit wind chest design utilized in the firm's new construction.
In the course of collegial rubbernecking, Gawthrop discovered that Odell was pursuing many of the same obsessions as a firm which appeared on his own list. Collaboration on engraving soon spread into case design, and by the time it spread into tonal architecture and construction methodology it became clear that collaborating merely as correspondents was the waste of a good thing.
In 2015 Gawthrop Organworks merged with J.H. & C.S. Odell to become Odell Organs, and Gawthrop and Odell became creative partners.
Outside of work, Gawthrop lives with his wife Amy (who he believes is significantly out of his league) surrounded by books, hand tools, and many cats, who are utterly unmoved by his technical and dialectical efforts but respond favorably to table scraps and scratches around the ears.