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 2011

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. Recently signed to Edition Classics for a series of solo albums, he has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as possessing “velvet-tipped sonority” (Gramophone) and “great authority and astounding virtuosity” (Est Républicain). Tom studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he held a Postgraduate Fellowship, 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, the Ensemble Prize at the Honens International Piano Competition 2009, and the keyboard sections of the Royal Over-Seas League and BBC Young Musician of the Year Competitions in 2000.

Since his London concerto debut at the age of 13, Tom has appeared in a wide-ranging concerto repertoire of over 30 major works, including Brahms and Ligeti with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Robin Ticciati; Rachmaninov with the BBC Philharmonic/Yan Pascal Tortelier and BBC Scottish Symphony/James Loughran; Beethoven, Grieg and Mozart with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Chopin with the European Union Chamber Orchestra; Ligeti with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Grieg with the Hallé at Bridgewater Hall and the China National Symphony in Beijing; John Ireland with the State Capella Philharmonic in St Petersburg; Schumann with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra in Florida; Beethoven Triple with Southbank Sinfonia/Vladimir Ashkenazy; and Scott Bradley’s Cat Concerto with Aurora Orchestra/Nicholas Collon.

Tom features regularly on BBC Radio 3 as soloist and chamber musician, and has made multiple appearances in both capacities at the BBC Proms. He has given solo recitals at the Aberystwyth, Brighton, City of London, Edinburgh, Hay, 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 Amsterdam, the Aldeburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals, and on several occasions at Wigmore Hall. Tom’s other chamber music collaborators include Alison Balsom, Alasdair Beatson, Anna Blackmur, Ian Bostridge, Laura van der Heijden, Philip Higham, Steven Isserlis, Guy Johnston, Jennifer Pike, Mark Simpson and Huw Watkins. Tom has performed piano quintets with the Badke, Brodsky, Carducci, Danish, Elias, Endellion, Heath, Martinu, Medici, Navarra, Sacconi, Skampa and Tippett Quartets. He has recorded three discs for Chandos with Jennifer Pike, including Chausson’s Concert with the Doric Quartet; two discs for Sonimage with the Aronowitz Ensemble; works by Thomas Ades for EMI; piano transcriptions for Decca Classics; and a critically-acclaimed debut solo CD, In Dance and Song, for Champs Hill Records in 2014. He also regularly features as soloist on film and television soundtracks.

Alongside his busy pianistic career, Tom has appeared as presenter and guest expert on BBC television and radio, given masterclasses at Dartington International Summer School and in Singapore, acted as Artistic Director of Chacombe Music Festival, and moonlighted as conductor, cellist, oboist, recorder player and reciter (Walton’s Façade). Tom’s arrangements of Gershwin and Cole Porter songs have been extensively performed and recorded, while recent commissions undertaken as a composer include two works for Alison Balsom; a chamber opera, The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak, for Wattle & Daub Figure Theatre; and the soundtrack for Perfect Features’ upcoming feature film, A Million Happy Nows.

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