Tom Fetherstonhaugh is a British conductor and organist.
Described as ‘a spark to watch’ by BBC Radio 3, his recent projects include conducting Tasmin Little’s final concerto performances, a concert for peace in the Korean Demilitarised Zone and the development of Piers Hellawell’s new piano concerto with players from the Ulster Orchestra.
In 2016 he founded Fantasia Orchestra, at its inception being a group of budding young musicians from junior Conservatoire departments. It has grown into an orchestra of exciting talent, with the ArtsDesk calling the strings section ‘already a thing of wonder’. The orchestra has recently played with soloists Tasmin Little, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Isata Kanneh-Mason. The next year sees Fantasia performing with Thomas Gould, Jess Gillam, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Tom has developed a method for performing opera with a recorded orchestra, in theatres where social distancing prevents the players from all sitting in the orchestra pit. This was first trialled at the Royal Academy of Music in 2020, where Tom produced an orchestral recording of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This summer, he will be producing recordings of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for three operas at The Grange Festival: Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.
As well as Fantasia Orchestra, Tom has conducted the Lindenbaum Festival Orchestra, Oxford University Sinfonietta, the orchestra of the Oxford Chamber Music Festival, Southbank Sinfonia, Leicester Symphony Orchestra, Hereford Symphony Orchestra, the Lindenbaum Festival Orchestra, the Junior Royal Academy of Music Sinfonia, Senior Orchestra and Main Choir, the orchestra of the Pro Corda Senior Course, the choir of Merton College, Oxford, and, aged 13, the choristers of Westminster Abbey on their tour to Russia.
In summer 2019, Tom made his debut in Korea, performing in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) with the Lindenbaum Festival Orchestra. Entitled ‘One Harmony’, the festival promotes peace between the Koreas through music, and the performance included a collaboration with the National Children’s Chorus of America.
Tom started his musical journey with the Suzuki method of violin playing. He was a chorister of Westminster Abbey where he sang for many state occasions, including performing the solo in Mealor’s Ubi Caritas at the 2011 Royal Wedding. As a treble, he performed at the Royal Opera House and had solo roles at English National Opera, and his voice features on film soundtracks including Prometheus, Life of Pi and Dark Shadows. Tom made his BBC Proms debut aged 13 as a soloist in Mahler’s ‘Das Klagende Lied’ under Edward Gardner. He studied violin and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, Junior Department, and subsequently trained with conductor Roland Melia. Tom read music at Merton College, Oxford, where he held organ and academic scholarships and graduated with first class honours. He is currently studying conducting with Sian Edwards at the Royal Academy of Music, where he holds the Julien Award.