Summer Organist Tutor

Tom Bell’s playing has been described as “invigorating” (Sunday Times), “compelling” (Organists’ Review) and “brilliant” (American Record Guide). Tom has built a vibrant portfolio as a performer, teacher and animateur. He has performed across Europe, in Australia, the Far East and the USA. Tom’s recordings have been broadcast and won praise internationally. His highly acclaimed recording Freak Out! (Regent 2021), was described in The American Organist as “remarkable…a masterclass”, and in BBC Music Magazine as “in equal parts brilliant and a bit bonkers”. “Beyond dispute”, continues The American Organist, “is Bell’s grand vision of organ music.”

Tom has a reputation as an innovator, collaborating with poets, dancers, visual artists and folk musicians. His work with Richard Brasier pushes the boundaries of organ duo. An ardent proponent of new music, Tom has premiered many new works including chorale preludes for the Orgelbüchlein Project and a cantata by Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon. Tom pioneered the combination of organ and beatbox, performing with Shlomo on BBC Radio 3 and at the Royal Festival Hall. In May 2019, with William Whitehead, John Scott Whiteley and Laurens de Man, Tom participated in the first complete performance of the Orgelbüchlein Project at the Orgelpark in Amsterdam. The 164 pieces took four organists, and five organs, nine hours to perform. A similar marathon in London in 2023 received international press attention. Tom participated in a performance of Jean Guillou’s nine-organ epic, La Révolte des Orgues, at Westminster Cathedral; he returned to that place in April 2022 to perform Messiaen’s Livre du Saint Sacrement. Messiaen’s music is one of Tom’s two principal preoccupations at present: he has a Messiaen vlog on YouTube, and a film project – to be recorded at La Trinité in Paris – is currently being crowdfunded by Fugue State Films. By contrast, another current interest concerns a study of English nineteenth century performance practice, particularly the work of W. T. Best. This project encompasses academic writings, and pure fun in his costumed quasi-steampunk The Best Experience concerts.