FISM (AGSM Hons)
Particularly noted for his ‘stylish and attentive conducting’, Tom Higgins studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, winning a silver medal with honours in his first year. He continued his conducting studies with James Lockhart, formerly Music Director of the Kassel Opera House in Germany.
At the beginning of his career he was a member of the English National Opera Orchestra and played under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras in many of the company’s innovative productions.
Later as a conductor, Tom Higgins had a four-year association with London’s Opera Holland Park where he directed the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. His diverse operatic repertoire has led to a repertoire of more than 50 works for the stage, ranging from Mozart’s, The Magic Flute to Menotti’s, The Consul.
He made his German debut in 2003 when he conducted the New Year’s Day Concert with Dresden’s Staatsoperetten Orchestra. Appearances in the United Kingdom include: St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Covent Garden Festival, the Brighton Festival, St. James’ Piccadilly and Cadogan Hall, where he conducted the New Queen’s Hall Symphonic Wind Band.
In May 1999 he released through the BBC Music Magazine the world premiere recording of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s last completed work for the stage – The Rose of Persia. Chosen by The Observer as ‘Classical CD of the Week’, it features the Hanover Band. The CD was recently re-issued by CPO - (‘It is very good with excellent playing under Tom Higgins caught in good clean sound’ – Opera Magazine).
In 2009 he recorded a revival of Elgar’s, long forgotten song cycle, The Fringes of the Fleet (SOMMCD 243) with the noted baritone, Roderick Williams and the Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra. This was the work’s first professional recording since Elgar’s own in 1917. It drew wide critical acclaim and became Classic FM’s CD of the Week. (‘This is a superb performance’ – Michael Kennedy ~ ‘Wonderfully done!’ - Jerrold Northrop Moore). Tom Higgins later directed a private performance of the work for Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll and His late Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh.
His next recording, The Crown Imperial (SOMMCD 0138) also became Classic FM’s Featured Album of the Week. It is a collection of marches for 20th-century British Coronations and was recorded with the newly-formed London Symphonic Concert Band of which Tom Higgins is the conductor and artistic director. The CD was released in July 2014.
His most recent recording, Elgar And His Peers (SOMMCD 0170) features his band transcription of Elgar’s, So Many True Princesses Who Have Gone (Queen Alexandra’s Memorial Ode). Commissioned by the Elgar Society, this was the premiere recording of Tom Higgins’ edition of a lost Elgar work originally for Band and Chorus. It is a realisation of the first performance given in 1932 under Elgar’s direction by the Band of the Welsh Guards and massed choirs. For Elgar And His Peers, The London Symphonic Concert Band was joined by the Joyful Company of Singers. Prior to this recording, the composer Anthony Payne had created an orchestral version for the 2002 Aldeburgh Festival.
In 2000 he was awarded a Diploma of Honour by the International Robert Stolz Society of Vienna. Engagements in 2002 included a gala performance of Aida as part of Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. Between 2004 and 2008 he directed a series of concerts in Berlin for the district of Charlottenburg.
From 2002 to 2011 he was Resident Music Director of Opera South and conducted 10 main productions. During the greater part of this time he worked on a number of rare operas, attaining highly-praised performances - (‘Tom Higgins drew firm polished playing from the Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra and gave good support to his cast – Opera Magazine). Lortzing’s, Zar und Zimmermann (Peter the Great), was one of several operas for which he made a successful orchestral reduction.
In 2011 he conducted a concert at the Royal Academy of Music which celebrated the life of Sir Charles Mackerras. In the same year he broadcast Montague Phillips’, A Surrey Suite as part of the BBC’s Light Fantastic Festival with the Linden Wind Orchestra.
In addition to his concert work, he assisted Sir Charles Mackerras in the reconstruction of Sullivan’s ‘Cello Concerto and has also created a portfolio of solos for the international violinist, Midori. She premiered one of these works with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in February 2006.
He is joint-founder and artistic director of Teddington Summer Music – a new music festival for South West London and conductor of the London Sylvan Ensemble with whom he has premiered a number of contemporary works.
His most recent appointment is Director of Music of the Guards Association Band in Chelsea and together they are regular guests at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8390 1020 ~ email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Higgins is represented by Michael Letchford ~ Goar Lodge, Smith’s Green, Takeley, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts. CM22 6NS. Telephone: 01279 871114 ~ Mobile: 07815 871766 email: email@example.com