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 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, Aldeburgh, Vale of Glamorgan, Kuhmo, The Proms 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 regularly in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras and ensembles in the UK and Europe. Recent engagements include guest conducting with The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, RTE National Symphony, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
An acclaimed exponent of late nineteenth and early 20th century repertoire, recent engagements include groundbreaking concerts in the UK and Asia with The Orchestra orf 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 con- ducted 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 2022 by Schott and will be recorded for Resonus Classics.
In Spring 2019, Thomas toured Ireland with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra to great acclaim. Bachtrack commented: “Kemp kept a tight rein on the orchestra with sharp rhythmic drive…beautifully shaped and poised.”
Thomas has worked with many of the world’s leading contemporary composers and has given numerous world and territorial premieres including Judith Weir, Thomas Adès, Judith Bingham, Charlotte Bray, Arvo Pärt, Ned Rorem, David Horne, Huw Watkins, Brian Ferneyhough, Alexander Goehr, Mark Simpson, Magnus Lindberg, Danny Elfman, Brian Elias and Mark-Anthony Turnage.
Thomas recently conducted the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage – Concertino for Clarinet with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
Thomas conducted Six Brandenburgs: Six Commissions in April 2022 premiering works by Deborah Pritchard, Stevie Wishart, Brian Elias, Daniel Kidane, Joseph Phibbs and Michael Price that ran alongside performances of Bach – Brandenburg Concertos. The concerts received 5 star reviews in the national press.
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 in creative activities. Music@Malling was recently featured the annual international roundup of The Best Classical Concerts in The Artsdesk. In 2022, the festival features the music of Eleanor Alberga, Howard Skemtpon and Deborah Pritchard.
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 Mägi and Alan Gilbert sponsored by 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.”