B i o g r a p h y
Composer and pianist, Tom Armitage was born in East Yorkshire into a musical family. He gave his first piano recital aged eleven and conducted his first orchestral compositions at the age of thirteen.
"An extremely talented musician - a fine composer and a talent to watch." - Philip Martin, pianist/composer
Having been awarded a Licentiate of the London College of Music in Piano Performance, he studied piano and composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and at the University of Malta with John Galea. It was at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire that he studied with Fumiko Miyachi, Michael Wolters, award-winning composer Errollyn Wallen MBE and celebrated and acclaimed Irish concert pianist, Philip Martin. Thanks to a scholarship from Benslow Music, he has also studied with Michael Finnissy and Howard Skempton.
As a pianist, Tom has broadcast for the BBC and has performed with orchestras and companies such as the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra, Thallein Ensemble, Żfin Malta National Dance Company and as a soloist with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in his own piano concerto, Outremer.
Tom has won many awards as a pianist and a composer and has performed at music festivals across several countries, including most recently at the Victoria International Arts Festival, the National Scottish Youth Theatre Festival, the Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale, RIMA Film Festival, Le Festival International du Film d'Aubagne, Mahalla Festival, Frontiers+ Festival, Birmingham International Jazz Festival and Birmingham Piano Festival. He won the Icarus Composition Competition (2011) with his piece 'In Paradisum' for choir and was shortlisted for an award in the annual Composer's Award held by the National Centre for Early Music in York (2008) and the Philip Bates Prize (2013). He was awarded 2nd prize at the International Composers Competition "Artistes en Herbe" Luxembourg (2020) for his piece 'Da Pacem Domine' for solo piano.
His music has been performed around Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East, and he has written for performers and ensembles such as the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Teatru Manoel Youth Opera, Hull Urban Opera, Orchestra of the Swan, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Schubert Ensemble, CHROMA, amplified ensemble, Decibel; the Ebor Singers; pianists Michael Finnissy and Jonathan Powell; flautist Roland Sutherland; soprano Mary Wiegold; violinist, David le Page; and saxophonist Naomi Sullivan among others.
In 2017, his opera 'Isperanza' was premiered at Teatru Manoel, Malta's National Theatre. His piano piece 'Twinkling' is included on the album '70 More Variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' played by acclaimed Australian pianist, Michael Kieran Harvey.
Tom has had piano music published by Shanghai Conservatory of Music Press. A champion of Occitan music and culture, he has released a recording of his large-scale piano piece, March 16th, 1244 on iTunes.
As well as upcoming solo recitals, Tom works mostly as a répétiteur on many opera productions having recently worked on Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach), Carmen (Bizet), Turandot (Puccini), Pirates of Penzance; Patience (Gilbert & Sullivan), Isperanza; The Legend of the Blue Lady (Tom Armitage), Le Nozze di Figaro; Don Giovanni, Cosí fan tutte (Mozart), Orphée et Eurydice (Glück/Berlioz), Corto Maltese (Monique Krüs), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Menotti).
"Tom writes like a dream for the voice - long lines and exquisite harmonies." - Roma Loukes, soprano
Tom resides between Malta and UK, most notably in Hull and Birmingham, where he was Head of Keyboard Studies at the Birmingham Music School. He works as a répétiteur and performs prolifically as a performer of new music and has given over 100 world premieres of pieces by living composers worldwide. He is a founding member of For Your Ears Only!, a platform for composers and performers of experimental music on the Maltese islands.
Photo: Elisa von Brockdorff