Neil Thomson was born in London in 1966, studied violin and viola at the Royal Academy of Music (1984-87) and conducting with Norman Del Mar at the Royal College of Music (1987-89). He was a member of the conducting class at Tanglewood Summer School in 1989 where his teachers included Gustav Meier, Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Sanderling and Leonard Bernstein.
Since March 2014 he has served as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Goiás, Brazil.
In the UK he has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Hallé, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera.
Recent débuts include concerts with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Minas Gerais Philarmonic Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, the Century Orchestra Osaka, the Kansai Philharmonic, the Lahti Sinfonia, the Britten Sinfonia, the Ulster Orchestra, the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Orchestra of Gothenburg Opera, the St.Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Opera North and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra.
He has performed with many distinguished soloists including Sir James Galway, Dame Moura Lympany, Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Felicity Lott, Philip Langridge, Sarah Chang, Antonio Meneses, Nelson Freire, Steven Isserlis, Julian Lloyd Webber, David Geringas, Natalie Clein, Gyorgy Pauk, Brett Dean, Jean-Philippe Collard, Stephen Hough, Peter Jablonski, Jean-Louis Steuerman, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.
Recent collaborations include a Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto with Nelson Freire,a Schumann Cello Concerto with Steven Isserlis, an opera gala with Da- nielle de Niese, tours in Brazil with Antonio Meneses and Jean-Louis Steuer- man, Liszt Second Piano Concerto and Brahms Second Piano Concerto with Stephen Hough, the premiere of Joseph Phibb’s new Percussion Concerto with Dame Evelyn Glennie and a rare performance of the complete Incidental Music from ‘Hassan’ by Delius at the Cheltenham Festival. He stepped in at three days notice to replace Louis Langrée with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra conducting works by Messiaen, Scriabin, Richard Strauss, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. This led to immediate re-invitations for 2017, 2018 and 2019 where he will be conducting three weeks in the subscription series in all years.
Alongside his symphonic work he has developed a speciality for conducting flms with live orchestra. He gave the premiere of the newly reconstructed score for ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2013. Other flms include ‘Psycho’, ‘Vertigo’, ‘Casablanca’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Fantasia’, Á ma- deus ́ and ‘Titanic’.
Recordings include a disc of American contemporary Violin Concerti with Ittai Shapira and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and two discs of or- chestral music by Cesar Guerra-Peixe with the Goias Philarmonic Orchestra. He is currently engaged on a project to record all 14 symphonies of Claudio Santoro for Naxos with the OFG.
From 1992 until 2006 he served as Head of Conducting at the Royal College of Music. The youngest-ever incumbent of this post (frst held by Sir Adrian Boult in 1919 and later by Norman Del Mar), he was made an Honorary Member of the RCM in 1994 for his services to the institution and has established an enviable reputation as an orchestral trainer.
His skills as a natural communicator have enhanced an already growing reputation as a professor throughout Europe. He has been a Guest Professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Krakow Academy of Music,the Conservatorio “Arrigo Boito” in Parma,the Lithuanian Academy of Music,the Campos do Jordao Festival and the Los Angeles Conducting Workshop. In 2002 he was invited by Lorin Maazel to be on the jury for the European rounds of the Maazel Conducting Competition and in 2007 was on the jury, alongside Gunther Schuller, of the Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition in Mexico City.
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