Musical Director, Easter Orchestra Week
Years ago, Michael Thorne earned money playing and teaching bassoon. He spent the 1980s conducting the Cardiff Chamber Orchestra and the City of Cardiff Symphony Orchestra as well as playing in the Spinosus Wind Quintet. In the 1990s he conducted the New Tyneside Orchestra and the Tynedale Symphony Orchestra.
He recently became Musical Director of the Easter Orchestral Society’s residential week – at which he has conducted since 1992 – where he explores the modern symphonic repertoire including in the last few years Rautavaara’s Symphony No.8, Lutosawski’s Concerto for Orchestra, Messaien’s Turangalila Symphony and Panufnik’s 5th Symphony.
Between 2001 and 2013 he conducted a Wagner opera a year with the Edinburgh Players Opera group, including two complete Ring Cycles, Tristan und Isolde (twice), Parsifal (twice) and Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg followed by Der Rosenkavalier in 2014, Die Frau Ohne Schatten in 2015, Tannhuser in 2016 and Elektra in 2017.
For Palace Opera he conducted Ariadne auf Naxos in July 2017 and for the Saffron Opera Group he has conducted Die Meistersinger (2014), Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (2015), Das Rheingold (2016), Siegfried (2017) and Gotterdammerung 2017 (“totally at one with the dramatic spirit and architecture” – Seen and Heard International; “sure-footed conducting … meticulous preparation” – Guardian). He retired as a full time academic in 2016.
Assistant Musical Director, Easter Orchestra Week
Tom Hammond is a London-based conductor, recording producer and festival director.
He delights in working with a diverse range of musicians from teenagers in youth orchestras through to the most experienced of professionals, and works to create opportunities for all of them to perform the music they love, to the highest possible standards.
As well as being attached to four highly successful non-professional orchestras and two youth orchestras, Tom is the co-founder and co-Artistic Director of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music, which has become a significant annual celebration of classical music following its launch in 2016.
Soloists with whom Tom has performed in recent years include pianists Simon Callaghan, Alissa Firsova and Stephen Hough, cellists Steven Isserlis and Matthew Sharp, violinists Esther Abrami, Ray Chen, Tamsin Whaley-Cohen and David Le Page, clarinetist Emma Johnson, flautists Emma Halnan and Daniel Pailthorpe, French horn player Ben Goldscheider, tenor Robert Murray, and soprano Susana Gaspar. He has helped to commission, and given numerous premiere performances of, music by composers such as James Francis Brown, Will Handysides, Bernard Hughes and Matthew Taylor.
Tom Hammond produces recordings with Chiaro Audio, many of which have been released on leading labels such as First Hand Records, Resonus Classics and Orchid Classics. Find out more at : http://chiaro-audio.uk/listen.html
After being mentored for two years by Sir Charles Mackerras in his time as Junior Fellow at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Tom has enjoyed working across the U.K. and further afield, not least in the Middle East where he has been a regular guest conductor for the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Palestine, leading to performances in Dubai, Jordan and Oman. Tom was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2010 in recognition of his contribution to the world of conducting.
“Hammond drew from the orchestra both the score’s joyousness and grim affirmation…This was an awesome performance.”
Midlands Music Reviews, January 2020
Musical Director, EOS Brass
He has been Musical Director of Scarborough Symphony Orchestra since 2005, where he has championed and premired William Grant Stills 1st & 2nd Symphonies and works by Andrzej Panufnik, whilst working with some of the worlds most prominent concerto musicians, such as Jamie Walton, Ian Bousfield, Richard Harwood and Ian Belton (Brodsky Quartet) and Jess Gillam. Upcoming collaborations include Ben Goldscheider, performing Ji Pauers Horn Concerto and Michael Petrov performing Shostakovichs 1st Cello Concerto.
His versatility and superlative passion for musical excellence also extends to his education and arts advocacy work. He has staged multimedia events incorporating live painting and orchestral performance, whilst also curating classical music outreach concerts for school-aged children across Yorkshire. He is currently professor of Tuba at the University of York.