Biography

“And what can I say about the excellent Tom Poster? His versatility and unerring sense of what works best marks him out as a musician’s musician and everyone in the business should be beating a path to his door”
- MusicWeb International, Cheltenham Festival

Tom Poster is internationally recognised as a pianist of outstanding artistry and versatility, equally in demand as soloist and chamber musician across an unusually extensive repertoire. He has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as having “a beautiful tone that you can sink into like a pile of cushions” (BBC Music). Since his London concerto debut at the age of 13, Tom has appeared in a wide-ranging concerto repertoire of over 40 major works. Equally at home directing Mozart and Beethoven from the piano as in the high-octane virtuosity of Rachmaninov or Ligeti, Tom has appeared as soloist with the Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, China National Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Hallé, Royal Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St Petersburg State Capella Philharmonic, collaborating with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, James Loughran, En Shao, Robin Ticciati and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Two major new concertos have recently been written for Tom: David Knotts’ Laments and Lullabies, commissioned by the Presteigne Festival and premiered there in 2015; and Martin Suckling’s Piano Concerto, commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, which receives its premiere in October 2016 with Robin Ticciati conducting. Other forthcoming highlights include debuts with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast and with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall.

Tom features regularly on BBC radio and television and has made multiple appearances at the BBC Proms. He has given solo recitals at the Aberystwyth, Brighton, Cambridge, City of London, Edinburgh, Hay, North Norfolk, Presteigne, Spoleto and Two Moors Festivals, as well as in Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. As pianist of the Aronowitz Ensemble (former BBC New Generation Artists), he has appeared at the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, and the Aldeburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals. Tom enjoys established duo partnerships with Alison Balsom, Guy Johnston and Elena Urioste, collaborates with Ian Bostridge, Laura van der Heijden, Steven Isserlis and Huw Watkins, and has performed piano quintets with the Brodsky, Callino, Carducci, Danish, Elias, Endellion, Heath, Martinu, Medici, Navarra, Sacconi, Skampa and Tippett Quartets. Highlights of the 2016/17 season include two appearances at the Wigmore Hall, curating and performing four concerts of French chamber music for BBC Radio 3 at the Roman River Festival, and a major residency at Wilton’s Music Hall as both pianist and composer.

Tom’s critically acclaimed recordings include solo discs for Edition Classics (Light and Shadows) and Champs Hill Records (In Dance and Song); three discs for Chandos with Jennifer Pike and the Doric Quartet; two discs for Sonimage with the Aronowitz Ensemble; Finzi’s Eclogue with Aurora Orchestra for Decca Classics; works by Thomas Ades for EMI; and a duo album with Alison Balsom for Warner Classics. He also regularly features as soloist on film and television soundtracks, including the Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning score for The Theory of Everything.

Tom studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a Double First in Music. He won First Prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition 2007, and the keyboard sections of the Royal Over-Seas League and BBC Young Musician of the Year Competitions in 2000.

As a composer, Tom’s recent commissions include Turn to the Watery World! for Alison Balsom, a piece about deep sea creatures which includes perhaps the first musical depiction of a blobfish; The Thoughts of Dr May, co- composed with Alison Balsom and inspired by Queen guitarist Brian May, recorded by the duo for their Warner Classics album; and The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak, a chamber opera for Wattle & Daub Figure Theatre, which receives a three-week run at Wilton’s Music Hall in February 2017. A lifelong devotee of the Great American Songbook, Tom’s arrangements of Gershwin, Cole Porter and others have been extensively performed and recorded. His other passions include cheese, redwood forests, yoga, contrabassoons, bright blue skies, wild freestyle dancing and animals with unusual noses.

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