Mike Thorne

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. 



Tom Hammond

Assistant Musical Director, Easter Orchestra Week

…a serious contender for most promising maestro of his generation.”– Musical Opinion, 2017

After his selection by Sir Charles Mackerras as the first Junior Fellow in conducting at Trinity Laban Conservatoire (2006-08), Tom Hammond has developed a rich and musically diverse career that encompasses working with top-flight professionals, youth orchestras and non-professional musicians, leading education projects, producing recordings, and directing a festival.

Winning awards and critical acclaim en route, Tom has built a reputation for developing ensembles musically and artistically whilst encouraging thoughtful programming, championing new music, and developing relationships with outstanding soloists both as conductor, and programmer.

In the 2018–19 season, Tom will make his debut conducting the Orchestra of the Swan, with projects to include accompanying world-famous cellist Steven Isserlis, and developing a new concert programme specially for families. 

Tom has given numerous world and British premières, including music by James Francis Brown, Bernard Hughes, Elena Firsova, Carl Nielsen and Matthew Taylor. Prominent soloists with whom Tom has recently performed include pianist Stephen Hough, violinist Ray Chen, clarinettist Emma Johnson, flautist Daniel Pailthorpe, cellist Matthew Sharp and mezzo Anna Harvey.

Tom is currently Music Director of the Essex, Hertford and St Albans Symphony Orchestras and the award-winning Yorkshire Young Sinfonia. He also holds positions with the Palestine Youth Orchestra and Ingenium Academy International Summer School, and is a regular guest conductor with many groups including London orchestras Sinfonia Tamesa (for whom he was Music Director for a decade) and the Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra.

In 2011, Tom was appointed an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of his achievements in conducting, was a prize winner at the 2009 Leeds Conductors Competition, and in 2010 was Principal Conductor at the Junior Royal Academy of Music, and Assistant Conductor at British Youth Opera.

Tom is founding Artistic Director of The Hertfordshire Festival of Music, and produces recordings for Chiaro Audio. He was appointed as the Assistant Musical Director on the EOS Easter Orchestra Week in 2016, and has conducted on the Week since 2017.


Shaun Matthew

Musical Director, EOS Brass

A musician who strives for all members of the public to find something in all forms of classical music; tuba player, conductor and animateur, Shaun Matthew was awarded the Mortimer Furber Prize for conducting contemporary music and has worked with some of the UKs finest orchestras, including the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Chineke Orchestra.

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 CelloConcerto.

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.