Thomas Kemp – Artistic Director
Friday 6 July 2018
Thomas Kemp is an acclaimed conductor renowned for his innovative programming, extensive
knowledge of repertoire and passionate advocacy in concerts, opera, ballet and recording. The
Guardian recently commented “…an extraordinary performance… with a fluency that came over
brilliantly under the baton of Thomas Kemp.”
Thomas is the Music Director of Chamber Domaine, which is at the forefront of ensembles focusing
on 20th and 21st century music. He has directed Chamber Domaine in festivals and concert
series in the UK, Europe and North America including Edinburgh, Cheltenham, City of London,
Huddersfield Contemporary, Wien Modern, The Proms, Aldeburgh, Vale of Glamorgan, Kuhmo and
Brighton Festivals. The ensemble has made regular appearances at Wigmore Hall, South Bank
Centre and have had residencies at Bargemusic, New York; The Schoenberg Centre, Vienna; The
Victoria and Albert Museum and Gresham College, London. Thomas has a distinguished discography
with the ensemble including world premiere recordings of Benjamin Britten, Frank Bridge,
Arthur Bliss, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Arvo Part, Henrik Gorecki, Ned Rorem and Judith Bingham.
The Times recently praised the ensemble for its “superb artistry…with pungent playing from Chamber Domaine under the baton of Thomas Kemp.”
Thomas is an award winning recording artist for Resonus and releases for 2019 include recordings
of Jean Sibelius, Richard Strauss, Judith Weir and Alexander Goehr. His recent recording of the
Mozart Flute Quartets was an award winner in YLE Recording of the Year 2018.
Thomas is regularly in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras and ensembles in the UK and
Europe and is an acclaimed exponent of late nineteenth and early 20th century repertoire. Recent
engagements include concerts in the UK, Europe and Asia with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducting the 1926 film version of Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier.
He was a featured artist at the Oxford Lieder Festival conducting Mahler and Strauss with the OAE. The Spectator commented “It’s supremely, exhaustingly virtuosic writing…the OAE and Thomas
Kemp gave their all, delivering salon-Strauss with half the orchestral fat but no real loss of flavour.”Seen and Heard praised the performances for their “marvellous sweep.” The critical edition of Der Rosenkavalier prepared for these ground-breaking performances will be published in 2020 by Schott. Thomas will then be working on the critical edition of Korngold – A Midsummer Nights Dream.
Engagements in 2019/20, include a UK and European tour of Stravinsky – The Soldiers Tale with
Chamber Domaine and a new work by James Pearson – Artistic Director of Ronnie Scotts – to mark its centenary.
In Spring 2019, Thomas toured Ireland with the RTE Symphony Orchestra to great acclaim. Bachtrack commented: “Kemp kept a tight rein on the orchestra with sharp rhythmic drive…beautifully shaped and poised.”
He has collaborated with leading artists including Toby Spence, Dietrich Henschel, Sarah Fulgoni, Nicky Spence, Sir Anish Kapoor, Craig Ogden, Edward Fox, Louise Alder, Charles Dance, Helen Lederer, Sally Matthews, Elizabeth Llewellyn, Yeree Suh and Andrew Staples and has given numerous world and territorial premieres including Judith Weir, Thomas Ades, Judith Bingham, Charlotte Bray, Arvo Part, Ned Rorem, David Horne, Huw Watkins and Mark-Anthony Turnage.
He made his operatic debut in a new production of Cosi fan tutte for Opera Holland Park with the
City of London Sinfonia to widespread praise. “Cosi fan tutte was conducted with real shape and
nuance by Thomas Kemp…Altogether this was the most original and idiomatic attempt on this ungraspable work London has seen in a long time.” Opera Now.
Thomas is the Artistic Director and Founder of Music@Malling – an international festival that promotes the works of contemporary composers alongside masterworks from the Classical and Romantic periods.
Founded in 2011, the festival is held each September in historic venues in and around West
Malling, Kent and has a year around outreach programme that engages hundreds of young people
in creative activities from across the county. Music@Malling was recently featured in the
annual international roundup of The Best Classical Concerts in The Artsdesk.
From 1989-92, Thomas read music at St.Catharine’s College, Cambridge and went on to study violin
and chamber music at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester where from 2000-2014
he worked as a professor. He has given masterclasses and conducted ensembles in conservatoires
and universities worldwide.
From 2003-2007, he studied conducting at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm with Jorma Panula, Paul Magi and Alan Gilbert winning the prestigious conducting award from The Swedish Academy.
Thomas has enjoyed an international career as a soloist, guest concertmaster, and chamber musician with many renowned orchestras and ensembles and has led many recording sessions for TV
and film in London. The Strad recently commented: “He displays a remarkable variety of tone in
playing that’s lyrical yet assertive, and there’s a real sense of sincerity to his glowing interpretations.”