Tom Coult is a composer born in London in 1988. His work has been championed by many of the UK’s major orchestras and ensembles, resulting in a series of acclaimed large-scale pieces, including 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 (nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Award). In July, his St John’s Dance was premiered by Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra to open the First Night of the 2017 BBC Proms.

His pieces are often infused with a sense of play and fantasy – Codex (Homage to Serafini), premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2013, draws inspiration from the imaginary encyclopaedia of Luigi Serafini, My Curves are not Mad for the Britten Sinfonia from the playful cutouts of Matisse, while Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux takes its title from Frank L. Warrin’s version of Lewis Caroll’s Jaberwocky (translating made-up English into made-up French).

Plans for 2017/18 include performances by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Arditti Quartet. He is currently the recipient of a Jerwood Fellowship from Aldeburgh Music to develop an opera with writer Alice Birch, and in October 2017 begins a two-year post as Visiting Fellow Commoner in the Creative Arts at Trinity College Cambridge.

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. Awards include the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Prize and the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize.

His compositions are published exclusively by Faber Music – for music hire, purchase or to enquire about a commission, please contact

‘None of it seemed to be contrived. The scheme was worked out with impressive assurance; everything was fresh, precisely imagined and made full use of what the Sinfonietta can do at its best’


Andrew Clements, The Guardian

Coult is a composer who spins glittering, teasingly ambiguous patterns out of simple-seeming material…In its gleeful reinvention of familiar things and ostentatious brilliance Coult’s piece recalled Thomas Adès, but the music’s sly way of pulling the rug out from under its own feet, plunging from noise to near-silence, revealed a very individual voice.


Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph

 ‘It was music of opulent but disciplined allure that promised much for the future. In fact, it made for one of those classic first encounters that feels as if one is in at the beginning of something truly significant.’


Michael White, Catholic Herald

‘Tom Coult’s witty, light-fingered Spirit of the Staircase was just as inventive instrumentally but a lot more recognisably structured and frankly more fun. Still in his twenties, he’s a name to watch.’


Richard Morrison, The Times

‘Coult soon proved he’s very much his own man, conjuring amusing dialogues from simple scale-like figures (thus the “staircase” of the title). The piece was funny and surreal and delicately poetic, all at once’


Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph

‘He has a brilliant sense of orchestration…The piece is impeccably, imaginatively scored, with nods to Britten and Stravinsky…this is a terrifically imaginative piece that deserves frequent airing: it works perfectly both as opener and as orchestral showpiece’


Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard