Bach Pilgrimage 2018 - new biography


Thomas Bowes is one of the UK’s most versatile and accomplished violinists – as a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster and artistic director. His concerto appearances in the UK, Germany and the USA have included highly praised performances of the concertos of Elgar, Britten, Szymanowski and Walton. At the invitation of the late Lady Walton, Tom spent three weeks on the Island of Ischia – Walton’s long time home – studying the history and score of the Walton concerto and his subsequent critically acclaimed recording of the work (along with the Barber concerto) reveals a special connection to Walton’s music.

Tom undertook an extensive ‘Bach Pilgrimage’ at the end of the 2012/13 season, giving fifty concerts of the unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas of JS Bach in churches across mainland Britain and raising over £20,000 for various charities. His Bach Pilgrimage is now a growing feature of every season and future events will take him all over the world.

Equally at home in the realm of cinema, Tom has been in great demand as soloist and concertmaster in the commercial recording studio. He has worked closely with many of the most eminent film composers. Among well over 150 film credits are such hit-movies as “Skyfall”, “The King’s Speech” and “The Hunger Games”.

Tom’s partnership with his wife, the composer and pianist Eleanor Alberga, has played a significant role throughout his career. As the duo “Double Exposure” they toured extensively across the USA, made a ground-breaking trip to China in 1997 and gave regular performances and broadcasts in the UK. The Duo established a reputation for adventurous and engaging programming. An enthusiastic champion of Alberga’s music, Tom gave the world premiere of her first Violin Concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Joseph Swensen.  A second concerto is planned for 2019. 

Chamber music has always been at the heart of Tom’s artistic life – he was the founding leader of the Maggini Quartet – and between 2003 and 2015 was the Artistic Director of the Langvad Chamber Music Jamboree in Denmark. In 2010 with Eleanor Alberga, he founded the music festival Arcadia in north Herefordshire, England. Central to the ethos of both festivals is fresh, authentic and vibrant music making for local communities and their audiences.

Tom is privileged to own and play a violin by one of the great Cremonese makers - a splendid 1659 Nicolo Amati.