Thomas Carroll

Thomas Carroll

Artistic Director & Principal Conductor

Described by The Strad as a player of ‘authority and passion, with an unerring sense of direction, full of colour and underpinned by a clear musical intelligence’, Welsh cellist Thomas Carroll launched his career when he won both Young Concert Artists Trust, London and Young Concert Artists, New York, following on from many prizes at numerous international competitions. He has since gone on to give critically acclaimed debut recitals at Wigmore Hall (London), Alice Tully Hall (NY) Konzerthaus (Vienna) and in Boston, California, Florida and Washington DC, as well performing in many major venues and festivals across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and America.

As a concerto soloist Thomas has appeared with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Mozart Players, Royal and London Philharmonic Orchestras, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra (conducted by Heinrich Schiff), English Chamber Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic, Sofia Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra.

Much in demand as a chamber musician, Thomas has worked with the Belcea Quartet, Chilingirian Quartet, Endellion Quartet, Yehudi Menuhin, Ivry Gitlis, Gidon Kremer, Tasmin Little, Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen, Nicola Benedetti, Christian Tetzlaff, Steven Isserlis, Mischa Maisky, YoYo Ma, Boris Pergamenschikow, Sir Antonio Pappano, Eugene Istomin, Ton Koopman, Emmanuel Pahud, Gervase de Peyer, Michael Collins, Emma Johnson, Sergei Leiferkus, Roderick Williams, Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Felicity Lott and Sir Willard White, among others. He is also a member of Trio Apaches, Salieca Trio and the London Conchord Ensemble.

He has recorded over thirty CD’s for labels including Champs Hill Records, Orchid Classics, Decca, Naxos, Signum Classics and Paladino Music. This Season saw the release of the world premiere recording of Ittai Shapira’s double concerto for violin and cello, together with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as well as continuing his recording series with the London Conchord Ensemble. His recording for Orchid Classics of works by Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert has received widespread critical acclaim – the Sunday Times described it as “enrapturing, sumptuous, sweeping, intense, intelligent and invigorating” and the Guardian wrote that his versions of the pieces were “intensely musical accounts, with no details overlooked and no challenges ducked… not a note out of place.” The CD was awarded Disk of the Year on the International Record Review site, MusicWeb International.

Alongside his career as a cellist, Thomas also enjoys an active life as conductor. Since conducting his debut performance in the Berlin Philharmonie in 2006, he has gone on to work with orchestras in the UK and abroad. This Season sees his conducting debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philharmonia, The Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Turkey, as well as a return to the Brighton Philharmonic.

Since April 2012, Thomas has been Artistic Director of the Orpheus Sinfonia, during which time they have performed a complete Beethoven and Brahms cycle, recorded the orchestra’s first CD, now available on Signum Classics and worked regularly with soloists such as Dame Felicity Lott, Tasmin Little, Jack Liebeck, Roderick Williams and Tamsin Waley-Cohen.

Thomas is also a regular guest on many radio programs, performing and speaking live on the BBC, on which he has appeared many times a year since 2000, as well as stations internationally.

From 2004 until recently, he was Professor of Cello at the Royal College of Music in London as well as principle cello teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School. In 2018, he was appointed Professor of Cello at the Hochschule of music in Cologne. Thomas was a pupil of Heinrich Schiff and Clemens Hagen, as well as working regularly with Steven Isserlis.

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