“…superbly conveyed by Thomas Kemp who conducts with unerring perfection.” Musicweb

Thomas Kemp is an acclaimed conductor and artistic director renowned for his passionate advocacy and ground breaking programming that places contemporary music into its historical context. The Guardian recently commented “…an extraordinary performance… with a fluency that came over brilliantly under the baton of Thomas Kemp.”

Thomas is regularly in demand as a guest conductor in the UK and Europe. Recent and forthcoming engagements include concerts with BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Thomas is the Music Director of Chamber Domaine, which is at the forefront of ensembles focusing on 20th and 21st century music. He regularly conducts Chamber Domaine in festivals and concert series in the UK, Europe and North America.  In 2022, the ensemble received five star reviews in the national press for Six Brandenburgs: Six Commissions – giving world premieres of new works by Brian Elias, Michael Price, Deborah Pritchard, Daniel Kidane, Joseph Phibbs and Stevie Wishart alongside the Brandenburg Concertos.  

The Artsdesk described the concerts as “metaphysical brilliance…a colossal achievement made up of seemingly effortless and joyous playing meeting with an equally joyous audience response.” The Observer described the performances as “superbly performed.” Musical Opinion praised the concerts as “a true continuation of the energising, restorative effect of Bach’s music, crisply and spontaneously rendered by members of Chamber Domaine under Thomas Kemp’s alert direction.” 

Six Brandenburgs: Six Commissions will be toured to festivals and concert series in the UK and Europe including Wigmore Hall in June 2025.

In June 2023, Chamber Domaine will be premiering new works by composer Deborah Pritchard in a series of immersive concerts featuring art by Maggi Hambling CBE and Marc Chagall.

Thomas is the Artistic Director and Founder of Music@Malling which brings world-class music to people’s doorsteps through concerts and outreach.  Music@Malling has an annual festival held each September and a summer series held in historic venues in and around West Malling, Kent.  Music@Malling has year around outreach which engages hundreds of people in creative activities and reaches many people who would not otherwise engage with the arts.  Acclaimed for its innovative programming, Music@Malling promotes contemporary music alongside classical and jazz. Featured composers in 2023 include Brian Elias, Gavin Bryars, Deborah Pritchard and Eleanor Alberga.  Music@Malling was featured in The Guardian – 10 Best Concerts and Operas of 2022.

Thomas has an award winning discography with Resonus and Signum Records. Forthcoming recordings include world-premiere recordings of music by Brian Elias, Eleanor Alberga, Deborah Pritchard, Richard Strauss and leading Chinese composer, Xiaogang Ye.

An acclaimed exponent of late nineteenth and early 20th century repertoire, recent engagements include groundbreaking concerts in the UK and Asia with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducting the 1925 film version of Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier.  The critical edition he prepared for these performances is published by Schott and will be recorded by Chamber Domaine on period instruments in November 2023 for Resonus.

Thomas was a featured artist at the Oxford Lieder Festival conducting Mahler and Strauss with  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.”

Other recent highlights include a tour of Ireland with the Fidelio Trio and the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and conducting world premieres of Mark-Anthony Turnage – Concertino and Howard Skempton – Hinterland with The Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

Thomas 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.

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.”