Described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “an unparalleled sound-magician” (General-Anzeiger), a “young lion” (The Guardian), and as possessing “great authority and astounding virtuosity” (Est Républicain). Tom Poster is internationally recognised as a pianist of outstanding artistry and versatility.
Equally in demand as soloist and chamber musician, he has established himself as a sensitive and passionate interpreter of an unusually extensive repertoire. He won First Prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition 2007, the Ensemble Prize at the Honens International Piano Competition 2009, and the keyboard sections of the Royal Over-Seas League and BBC Young Musician of the Year Competitions in 2000.
Since his London concerto debut at the age of 13, Tom has appeared in a wide-ranging concerto repertoire of over 30 major works, with orchestras and conductors including the BBC Philharmonic/Yan Pascal Tortelier, BBC Scottish Symphony/James Loughran, Southbank Sinfonia/Vladimir Ashkenazy, European Union Chamber Orchestra, China National Symphony/En Shao in Beijing, Atlantic Classical Orchestra/Stewart Robertson in Florida, and the State Capella Philharmonic in St Petersburg. In addition to his much-admired interpretations of the standard repertoire, Tom recently toured with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Robin Ticciati performing Ligeti’s notoriously virtuosic concerto, and appeared in London and Snape with the Aurora Orchestra/Nicholas Collon playing the Liszt/Scott Bradley Cat Concerto, whose original soloists were Tom and Jerry in the celebrated 1946 MGM animated short.
Tom features regularly on BBC Radio 3 as soloist and chamber musician, and appeared in both capacities at the BBC Proms in 2008 and 2009. He has given solo recitals at concert halls and festivals throughout the UK, in Bonn, Calgary, Hamburg, Leipzig, Lugano, Paris and the Channel Islands, and on several occasions at the Spoleto Festival, by invitation of the late Gian Carlo Menotti. Tom recently gave the world premiere of a solo piano work by Benjamin Britten on BBC Radio 3 to mark the composer’s birthday. As pianist of the Aronowitz Ensemble (BBC New Generation Artists 2006-2008), he has appeared at the Wigmore and Bridgewater Halls and the Aldeburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals. The Ensemble’s debut CD, Climbing the Skies, was released in 2010 to great critical acclaim, and in 2011 the Ensemble appears at the Concertgebouw and the Laieszhalle Hamburg. Tom also enjoys recital partnerships with Alison Balsom, Guy Johnston and Jennifer Pike, and has collaborated with the Brodsky, Endellion, Medici, Sacconi and Skampa Quartets. This season he gives a series of performances with Steven Isserlis at Wigmore Hall and returns to the Proms in both solo and chamber repertoire.
Well-known for his readiness to face a challenge, Tom once rushed across London to perform the Grieg Concerto at only three hours’ notice, and has made solo appearances at a day’s notice for the Proms (replacing Lang Lang at an educational event), City of London Festival and BBC Radio 3. He is also in demand as a lecture-recitalist, has presented programmes on Beethoven and Schumann for BBC Radio Scotland, and is former Artistic Director of Chacombe Music Festival. He has appeared as Reciter in Walton’s Façade, performed and recorded his own Gershwin and Cole Porter arrangements in Germany, Spain and the UK, and had his compositions performed extensively, including two chamber operas written when he was twelve. Recent commissions include a one-act musical for puppets, The Oldest Man in the World, for his brother Tobi’s theatre company, Wattle and Daub; and a piece about unusual sea-creatures, Turn to the Watery World!, for Alison Balsom, which toured the UK and Germany in 2010.
Born in 1981, Tom studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he held a Postgraduate Fellowship, and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a Double First in Music.
Photo credit © Sussie Ahlburg