tom higgins photograph


Sir Arthur Sullivan The Rose of Persia

Sir Arthur Sullivan
The Rose of Persia
Various overtures
Hanover Band
Southwark Voices
Tom Higgins, conductor
BBC Music Magazine No.7 No.9


Overture to 'Macbeth'

'The Sultan's Executioner"
from 'The Rose of Persia"

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

He regularly conducts leading British orchestras, including the Hanover Band, the Brandenburg Sinfonia (together they opened the 1999/2000 Orchestral Concert Series at the Hawth in Crawley), and the English Theatre Orchestra. He has also conducted many of the prominent choral societies in the London area, including the Croydon Philharmonic, the Epsom College Chapel Choir, and the Hertfordshire Chorus.

He made his German debut in 2003 when he conducted the New Year’s Day Concert at Dresden’s Staatsoperette. Important debuts in the 2000/2001/2002 seasons included the Covent Garden Festival, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and St Martin-in-the Fields.

In May 1999 he released through the BBC Music Magazine the world premiere recording of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s last completed work for the stage - The Rose of Persia, coupling it with a number of Sullivan’s rarely-heard symphonic overtures. Chosen by The Observer as ‘Classical CD of the Week’, it features the Hanover Band and Southwark Voices.

He conducted Opera Holland Park’s new production of Die Fledermau, in 1998, returning in 1999 to work with director Simon Callow on Menotti’s The Consul. This was followed by Orpheus in the Underworld and The Yeomen of the Guard. He made his debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2001, conducting The Merry Widow. In April 2000 he was awarded a Diploma of Honour by the International Robert Stolz Society in Vienna.

A former member of English National Opera Orchestra, he worked with a number of distinguished conductors, including Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Simon Rattle. He has appeared at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. On leaving ENO, he was appointed music director of Island Opera conducting for that company La Traviata, and La boheme.

Engagements in 2002 included L’Amico Fritz for Opera Omnibus and Elgar’s, The Dream of Gerontius with the Kingston Orpheus Choir. As part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations he conducted a gala performance of Aida. In 2003 he conducted Beatrice di Tenda for Opera Omnibus and The Magic Flute for Belcanto Festival Opera. He returned to Opera Omnibus in 2004 for Adolphe Adam’s Si j’étais roi and later in the same year directed a concert of Viennese music in Berlin for the Tertianum organisation. By popular request the concert was repeated in March 2005.

Now Resident Music Director of Opera South he conducted Gounod’s Faust for the company in 2005 (which also marked his debut with the Guildford Philharmonic) in 2006 and will conduct Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2006 for the company.

Tom Higgins made his Cadogan Hall, London, debut in July 2005 conducting the New Queen’s Hall Wind Band in its concert debut in a programme of music to celebrating Independence Day in the US.