Musical Director

Tom Higgins, FISM, AGSM (Hons) Director of Music

Tom Higgins studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, winning a silver medal with honours in his first year. He continued his conducting studies with James Lockhart, formerly Music Director of the Kassel Opera House in Germany.

Before studying at the Guildhall, he was a member of the Royal Engineers Band, following a family tradition of music in the Services. He toured Great Britain, Germany and Cyprus and made many BBC Broadcasts. This start to his career gave him a strong affiliation to Military Bands, which has lead to him publishing many works for band both in Great Britain and in the United States.

After leaving the Services and upon completion of his Guildhall studies, he joined English National Opera, where he was a member of the orchestra. As a conductor,  he made his German debut in 2003 when he directed the New Year’s Day Concert with Dresden’s Staatsoperetten Orchestra. This was followed by a series of concerts in Berlin for the district of Charlottenburg. He has made numerous appearances throughout the United Kingdom and during a four-year association with London’s Opera Holland Park directed the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 

In 2000 he was awarded a Diploma of Honour by the International Robert Stolz Society of Vienna and between 2002 and 2011 was Resident Music Director of Opera South. In 2011 he conducted a concert at the Royal Academy of Music which celebrated the life of the late Sir Charles Mackerras. In the same year he broadcast a band transcription of Montague Phillips’, A Surrey Suite as part of the BBC’s Light Fantastic Festival. 

In addition to his concert work, he assisted Sir Charles Mackerras in the reconstruction of Sullivan’s ‘Cello Concerto. He was also invited to create a portfolio of solos for the international violinist, Midori, one of which she premiered in 2006 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. His most recent appointment is as music director of the Guards Association Band. He and the band are regular guests at the Chelsea Flower Show. 

Discography: The Rose Of Persia, released through the BBC Music Magazine, (Observer Classic CD of the Week) The Fringes Of The Fleet, SOMM CD 243, (Classic FM CD of the Week) The Crown Imperial, SOMM CD (0138, (Classic FM’s Featured Album of the Week) Elgar And His Peers, SOMM CD (0171).