Adjudicator

Tom Bell (UK)




Tom Bell enjoys a varied freelance solo career as an organist, based in London and active across the UK and abroad. He has performed in mainland Europe and the USA, undertaking two tours to the latter encompassing the East Coast and Mid West in 2013. In 2014, Tom was a featured artist in the Southbank Centre's Pull Out All The Stops festival, celebrating the restoration of the epoch-making Royal Festival Hall organ. Tom appeared twice on the RFH organ during March, where he performed works by Vierne and Vaughan Williams, and gave the world premiere of a new piece by Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon, both broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. A second concert, also featured on Radio 3, included the world premiere of a groundbreaking work for organ and two beatboxers, Shlomo and Reeps One.

 

Tom's debut CD, featuring music by Bliss, Elgar and Malcolm Williamson and released on the Regent label, was described by one reviewer as "...a marvellous recording, full of light, from a charismatic and virtuosic musician" (Organists' Review). His latest recording, a double CD of contemporary music on the London Independent Records label was a Sunday Times essential release. Tom's playing has been heard on the radio in the UK, Europe and the United States, including (from the Temple Church in London) a live solo recital on Dutch Radio 4 as part of their Handel Day, 2009. Together with beatboxer Shlomo and a Hammond organist, he reinvented Ravel's immortal 'Bolero' for BBC Radio 3, as part of that station's Ravel Day in March 2014. In 2015/2016 Tom looks forward to collaborating with his organ duo partner Richard Brasier, and developing his work with beatboxers. He also will be visiting Germany, the USA and making his second recording with Regent: a programme of Brahms and Schoenberg.


Tom is Artistic Director to the London Organ Day, and teaches the organ for the Royal College of Organists and the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk. He is a regular tutor on various residential courses, gives masterclasses (recently, Birmingham Conservatoire and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia), lectures and examines. A passion for education and outreach has led to involvement with many different schemes, and he is organist to the long-running Organworks project, based at Eton. Tom also serves as Organist and Choir Master at St Michael's Church, Chester Square in central London. He also writes occasionally, and his work has been published in BBC Music Magazine, Organists' Review and others.


Tom studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Kevin Bowyer, also travelling to Amsterdam to see Jacques van Oortmerssen. His repertoire is broad but he harbours a particular love of new music, something which has led him to premiere many pieces in the last few years. Besides tea drinking he likes fell walking, good beer and (most of all) steam locomotives.

Sydney Organ Competition

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