Friday 6 July 2018
“…superbly conveyed by Thomas Kemp who conducts with unerring perfection.” Musicweb
Thomas Kemp is an acclaimed conductor renowned for his innovative programming 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 regularly directs 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, Jean Sibelius, Frank Bridge, Arthur Bliss, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Arvo Pärt, 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.” A recent recording with the ensemble of the Mozart Flute Quartets was YLE Recording of the Year.
Thomas is regularly in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras and ensembles in the UK and Europe. Forthcoming engagements include guest conducting with The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, RTE National Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and a tour of an interactive production of Stravinsky – The Soldier’s Tale with Chamber Domaine.
An acclaimed exponent of late nineteenth and early 20th century repertoire, recent engagements include groundbreaking concerts in the UK, Europe and Asia with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducting the 1925 film version of Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier. Thomas was a featured artist at the Oxford Lieder Festival conducting Mahler and Strauss with the OAE and outstanding vocalists Toby Spence, Dietrich Henschel and Louise Alder. The Spectator commented “It’s supremely, exhaustingly virtuosic writing…the OAE conducted by Thomas Kemp gave their all…” Seen and Heard praised the performances for their “marvellous sweep.”
The critical edition of Der Rosenkavalier prepared for these performances will be published in 2021 by Schott. .
Thomas has worked with many of the world’s leading contemporary composers 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, Brian Ferneyhough, Alexander Goehr, Mark Simpson, Magnus Lindberg, Danny Elfman, Brian Elias and Mark- Anthony Turnage. Forthcoming projects include six commissions to run alongside performances of Bach – Brandenburg Concertos, a tour of an interactive production of The Soldier’s Tale and a Composer Focus Day at Wigmore Hall.
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 of Music@Malling – an international festival that promotes the works of contemporary composers alongside classical, jazz, world, film and vocal music. 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 from across the county in creative activities. In 2019, the festival had 30 events and profiled the music of Alexander Goehr. Music@Malling was recently featured 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, conducted and coached 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, 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.”