Tom Butler

ARTFORMS: Music , Conductor


After a highly competitive audition, Tom was awarded the only place for postgraduate conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. The position offers him the opportunity to study full-time with David Jones, newly-appointed Conductor in Residence, whilst also acting as his assistant and preparing the college orchestras. This unique position will enable Tom to improve his conducting and musical skills at the highest level.

Tom graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a first-class degree in Music. There he is described as a ‘brilliant student’ where his accomplishment as a composer is already considerable. While still an undergraduate Tom was commissioned to write a piece for the Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust 2005-06 season which was performed to acclaim by the international duo of Rohan de Saram and Ananda Sukarlan.

After graduating, he studied with James Lowe, associate conductor of the RNSO, and conducted both the Edinburgh University Chamber Orchestra on tour to Belgium and the Edinburgh Studio Opera’s production of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride.

Tom has a keen commitment to new music which inspired him to establish his own Ensemble specializing in work by young composers of all nationalities who are working or studying in Scotland.

Tom excels equally at composition, performing on the cello and conducting. He has enormous potential to make a huge contribution to the artistic life of Scotland and internationally.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Awards is contributing towards the costs of Tom’s postgraduate studies at the RWCMD.

Since the Award

Tom successfully gained a Postgraduate Diploma (Conducting) from RWCMD.  More importantly, the experience proved invaluable to him in his development as a conductor, in particular helping him to communicate his musical ideas and thoughts through his gestures as conductor.  Whilst not abandoning conducting, Tom is currently pursuing his other passion, composition, at the RSAMD.

[This opportunity to study] at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama is a huge step forward towards my ambition to make a significant contribution to our cultural life.