Tomas Leakey

Award: Transmission Fund

Year: 2019

Genre: Classical

Instrument/voice type: Piano

Location: London


As Music Director of the Mahler Players, a chamber orchestra he founded in 2013 and with whom he has conducted around 50 concerts, Tomas has conducted many performances of works by Mahler including Symphonies 1, 4, 5, 9, Adagio from 10, Das Lied von der Erde and most of the other song cycles. He has also commissioned and given the world premieres of four new works, including Birth-Rebirth by leading Scottish composer Stuart MacRae. With this orchestra he has also conducted a range of demanding 20th Century works, including by Boulez, Schoenberg, Webern and Stravinsky. The orchestra has been described as “outstanding” and “Scotland’s best-kept musical secret” by Michael Tumelty in the Herald Scotland.
He is currently leading the orchestra through the Wagner Project, which has featured performances of hour-long orchestral extracts from Parsifal and Götterdämmerung. In 2019 Tomas conducted performances of Act 1 from Die Walküre, in a new chamber orchestra version by Matthew King and Peter Longworth, with soloists Claire Rutter, Peter Wedd and Iestyn Edwards.
Passionate about inspiring the next generation, Tomas has also led the Mahler Players through three large-scale educational projects, in which Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, Walton’s Façade and the BBC Ten Pieces were performed in schools across the north of Scotland to hundreds of school-children.
Tomas studied conducting with George Hurst at the Sherborne Summer School of Music and with Denise Ham in London. In 2017 he took part in the Orkney Conductors’ Course, studying with Alexander Vedernikov and conducting the Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers. In 2016 he took part in the Järvi Winter Academy and undertook a year’s study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama from 2013 – 2014. At the 2016 Aberystwyth Musicfest Tomas was the joint winner of the Orion Conductors’ Prize.