Tom Poster is a musician whose skills and passions extend well beyond the conventional role of the concert pianist. He has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as having “a beautiful tone that you can sink into like a pile of cushions” (BBC Music).
Since his London concerto debut at the age of 13, Tom has performed a wide-ranging concerto repertoire of over forty major works. Equally at home in the high-octane virtuosity of Rachmaninov or Ligeti as directing Mozart and Beethoven from the piano, Tom has appeared as soloist with the Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, China National Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Hallé, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, St Petersburg State Capella Philharmonic and Ulster Orchestra, collaborating with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, Thierry Fischer, James Loughran, Robin Ticciati and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Two outstanding new concertos have been written for Tom: David Knotts’ Laments and Lullabies, commissioned by the Presteigne Festival; and Martin Suckling’s Piano Concerto, commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Tom has been featured regularly on BBC radio and television and his exceptional versatility has put him in great demand at festivals across the world. He is a regular performer at Wigmore Hall, and is pianist of both the Aronowitz Ensemble (former BBC New Generation Artists) and the Aronowitz Piano Trio. Tom enjoys established duo partnerships with Alison Balsom, Guy Johnston and Elena Urioste, with whom he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2018. He also collaborates with Ian Bostridge, Steven Isserlis and Matthew Rose among many others, and has performed piano quintets with the Brodsky, Callino, Carducci, Castalian, Danish, Elias, Endellion, Heath, Martinu, Medici, Navarra, Sacconi, Skampa and Tippett Quartets.
Tom’s passion for bringing wonderful musicians together, and for creative and innovative programming, has led him to found the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, an ensemble with a flexible line-up and an ardent commitment to diversity. Kaleidoscope’s recent and forthcoming highlights include residencies at Wigmore Hall, Kettle’s Yard, and the Cheltenham and Ischia festivals. Tom has previously been invited to curate series for BBC Radio 3, the Roman River Festival and Wilton’s Music Hall.
Tom’s critically acclaimed recordings include solo discs for Champs Hill Records (In Dance and Song) and Edition Classics (Light and Shadows); three discs for Chandos with Jennifer Pike and the Doric Quartet; Finzi’s Eclogue with Aurora Orchestra for Decca Classics; works by Thomas Ades for EMI; and a duo album with Alison Balsom for Warner Classics. His most recent releases are a duo disc with Elena Urioste, Estrellita, on BIS Records, which includes Tom’s own arrangements; and the premiere recording of Cliff Eidelman’s Symphony for Orchestra and Two Pianos with the London Symphony Orchestra. Tom is also regularly featured as soloist on film soundtracks, including the Oscar-nominated score for The Theory of Everything.
Tom studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a Double First in Music. He won first prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition 2007, and the keyboard section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in 2000.
As a composer, Tom’s recent commissions include two pieces for Alison Balsom, Turn to the Watery World! and The Thoughts of Dr. May, the latter recorded for Warner Classics; a set of songs for Matthew Rose commissioned by Wigmore Hall; and The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak, a chamber opera for Wattle & Daub, which received a critically acclaimed three-week run at Wilton’s Music Hall in 2017. A lifelong devotee of the Great American Songbook, Tom’s arrangements of Gershwin, Cole Porter and others have been extensively performed, broadcast and recorded. Tom has also recently appeared on stage as conductor, cellist, recorder player, swanee-whistler and Reciter in Walton’s Façade. His other passions include Indian food, redwood forests, yoga, contrabassoons, bright blue skies, wild freestyle dancing, and animals with unusual noses.