Dr Philip Thomas, sabbatical update

In April, Dr Philip Thomas joined postgraduates Diego Castro and Marc Codina at Northwestern University’s NUNC festival and conference, where he presented a paper about Christian Wolff’s 2001 piano work Pianist: Pieces.

Philip performed in three concerts in London during May:

5th May, Café Oto, where he performed Bryn Harrison’s extended work for solo piano Vessels. Read Philip’s observations on performing the work, ‘Vessels and the Sensuality of touch‘ and listen to an excerpt as follows:


On 12th May at Senate House, University London, as part of the Institute of Musical Research series, Philip performed solo and with Apartment House in a concert of recent music by leading American experimental composer Christian Wolff following a talk given by the composer.

On 26th May, London Contemporary Music Festival: Philip performed in the opening concert as a soloist in works by Tim Parkinson and James Clarke, and alongside Gavin Bryars, Chris Hobbs and John Tilbury in two classic British experimental works by Chris Hobbs.

The best pieces were those where honest energy and effort took the place of fake English self deprecation. In James Clark’s intriguingly inventive Island, superbly played by pianist Philip Thomas, the evening suddenly came alive. (Ivan Hewitt, Daily Telegraph)

June/July sees the release of three significant recordings:

Christian Wolff  Pianist: Pieces, sub rosa SR389, a 3-CD set of Wolff’s early and recent solo piano music, including three first recordings and the extended work Long Piano (Peace March 11).

Christopher Fox ‘Solo piano’ HatHut 192 – four works for solo piano, including three composed for Philip, all premiere recordings.

Laurence Crane Chamber Works, another timbre at74x2 – a double CD set of solo and chamber works by Crane performed by Apartment House and including the solo piano work ‘Piano Piece No. 23 – Ethiopian Distance Runners’, composed for Philip ThomasA launch concert for this CD is being held at Café Oto, London, on July 15th.

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