Tom Coult (b. London, 1988) is a London-based composer whose work has been championed by many of the UK’s major orchestras and ensembles. Recent premieres include Beautiful Caged Thing for soprano Claire Booth and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Sonnet Machine for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and Spirit of the Staircase for the London Sinfonietta. He is currently the recipient of a Jerwood Opera Writing Fellowship from Aldeburgh Music to develop an opera with writer Alice Birch.
A frequent thematic preoccupation is an interest in the fantastical – his Codex (Homage to Serafini) (premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra as the culmination of a year-long Sound and Music Embedded residency in 2013) draws inspiration from the imaginary encyclopaedia of Luigi Serafini, whilst Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux (performed by seven different ensembles since its 2012 premiere) takes its title from Frank L. Warrin’s version of Lewis Caroll’s Jabberwocky (translating made-up English into made-up French).
Other significant pieces include Four Perpetual Motions (written for members of the Philharmonia in 2013 after Tom was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize), My Curves are not Mad for string orchestra (commissioned by the Britten Sinfonia and performed on tour in 2015) and the ongoing set of Études for solo violin, the latest of which were commissioned by the London Sinfonietta for principal violinist Jonathan Morton. Further performances of his works have come from Manchester Camerata, Orchestra of the Swan, Psappha, Hebrides Ensemble, Fidelio Trio and Ensemble Platypus.
Tom studied at the University of Manchester with Camden Reeves and Philip Grange and at King’s College London with George Benjamin. In October 2014 he was a featured composer at the ‘Soundings’ festival curated by the Fidelio Trio’s Mary Dullea at the Austrian Cultural Forum London, and has also written on the work of Pierre Boulez for the Tempo journal and for the exhibition book of ‘Exposition: Pierre Boulez’ at the Philharmonie de Paris.