Thomas Kemp is an acclaimed conductor renowned for his innovative programming and ground breaking concerts and recordings. The Guardian recently commented “…an extraordinary performance… with a fluency that came over brilliantly under the baton of Thomas Kemp.
Regularly in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras and ensembles in the UK and Europe, recent and forthcoming engagements include RTE Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Thomas is the Music Director of Chamber Domaine, which is an acclaimed project based ensemble focusing on 20th and 21st century music. He has directed 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 is an award winning recording artist for Resonus and has a distinguished discography with the ensemble. The Times recently praised the ensemble for its “superb artistry…with pungent playing from Chamber Domaine under the baton of Thomas Kemp.” Forthcoming releases for 2021/2022 include world premiere recordings of Strauss, Messiaen and Stravinsky.
Hailed by Classic FM as “a wonderful music festival” and featured in the annual roundup of The Best Classical Concerts in The Artsdesk, Thomas is the artistic director and founder of Music@Malling which promotes the works of contemporary composers alongside masterworks from the Classical and Romantic periods.
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. In 2020, the festival was online for the first time and reached a world-wide audience. In 2021, Music@Malling will feature the music of Brian Elias, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Eleanor Alberga alongside an eclectic mix of classical, jazz, world and film music.
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
Other recent highlights have included concerts in the UK, Europe and Asia with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducting the 1925 silent film version of Der Rosenkavalier and concerts for the Oxford Lieder Festival featuring music by Mahler and Strauss with outstanding vocalists Toby Spence, Louise Alder and Dietrich Henschel. In 2019, Thomas made a tour of Ireland with the RTE Symphony Orchestra: “Kemp kept a tight rein on the orchestra with sharp rhythmic drive….beautifully shaped and poised.” Bachtrack
Forthcoming highlights include conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony in the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage – Concertino and recording Stravinsky – The Soldiers Tale with acting legend Charles Dance OBE. Thomas will also be conducting and directing Six Brandenburgs: Six Commissions with Chamber Domaine featuring new works by Daniel Kidane, Stevie Wishart, Joe Phibbs, Deborah Pritchard, Brian Elias and Michael Price.
Thomas read music at St.Catharine’s College, Cambridge and went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester where he worked as a Professor of Violin and Chamber Music from 2000-2014. He has given masterclasses and conducted 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 conductors award from The Swedish Academy.
Thomas enjoys an international career as a guest concertmaster, soloist 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.”