Biennale History





TA 1Tom Armitage is an award-winning British composer and pianist. After attaining his licentiate diploma in piano performance from the London College of Music, he then went on to study at Birmingham Conservatoire with critically acclaimed Irish concert pianist, Professor Philip Martin, Fumiko Miyachi and the Ivor Novello award-winning composer, Errollyn Wallen MBE, amongst others. He then was awarded a scholarship to study with Michael Finnissy at Benslow Music and then a Masters in Composition with Dr John Galea at the University of Malta.

Performances have taken Tom all over Europe to a range of unusual venues from mountain-top churches in the French Pyrenees to Westminster Abbey in London. As a champion of contemporary music, he has given over 100 world-premieres, including the European premiere of monumental American composer Morten Feldman's Swallows of Salangan with Thallein Ensemble. Most recently, he has appeared in the Birmingham International Jazz Festival, the Birmingham Piano Festival and has broadcast for the BBC.

"An extremely talented musician - a fine composer and a talent to watch." - Philip Martin, concert pianist.

As a composer, Tom's works have been performed by ensembles such as Orchestra of the Swan; Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; the Schubert Ensemble; Decibel, as part of Frontiers+ Festival, UK; soprano, Roma Loukes of the Royal Swedish Opera; and pianist, Michael Finnissy amongst many others. He won the Icarus Composition Prize in 2010 and was shortlisted for the National Centre for Early Music Composer's Award (2008) and the Philip Bates Prize (2013). His piano music has been published by World Humanities Press in Hong Kong.

A keen ethnomusicologist focusing on the culture of Southwest France in the High Middle Ages, Tom's research has led him to encounter the ideologies of the Cathars, the Knight's Templar, the music of the troubadours and the gnostic dualism of the Mediterranean heresies. The Occitan culture, history and sociopolitical environment largely defines his current work.

Mdina Biennale Venues