Role: Music Director (2019-21)
We were shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden death of Tom Hammond in December 2021. Since joining us less than three years earlier Tom had become a true friend to the orchestra and it is our huge regret that we had so little time to work together. He is sadly missed for his energy, enthusiasm, warmth and sheer musical talent.
Tom Hammond was a London-based conductor, recording producer, and festival director. He delighted in working with a diverse range of musicians from teenagers in youth orchestras through to the most experienced of professionals, and worked to create opportunities for all of them to perform the music they love, to the highest possible standards.
As well as being attached to four highly successful non-professional orchestras and two youth orchestras, Tom was the co-founder and co-Artistic Director of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music, which has become a significant annual celebration of classical music following its launch in 2016.
Soloists with whom Tom performed include pianists Simon Callaghan, Alissa Firsova and Stephen Hough, cellists Steven Isserlis and Matthew Sharp, violinists Esther Abrami, Ray Chen, Tamsin Whaley-Cohen and David Le Page, clarinetist Emma Johnson, flautists Emma Halnan and Daniel Pailthorpe, French horn player Ben Goldscheider, tenor Robert Murray, and soprano Susana Gaspar. He helped to commission, and gave numerous premiere performances of, music by composers such as James Francis Brown, Will Handysides, Bernard Hughes and Matthew Taylor.
Tom produced recordings with Chiaro Audio, many of which were released on leading labels such as First Hand Records, Resonus Classics and Orchid Classics. Find out more at : http://chiaro-audio.uk/listen.html
After being mentored for two years by Sir Charles Mackerras in his time as Junior Fellow at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Tom enjoyed working across the U.K. and further afield, not least in the Middle East where he was a regular guest conductor for the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Palestine, leading to performances in Dubai, Jordan and Oman. He was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2010 in recognition of his contribution to the world of conducting.
“Hammond drew from the orchestra both the score's joyousness and grim affirmation...This was an awesome performance.”
Midlands Music Reviews, January 2020