Interview with Tom Rose


Tom Rose is a composer and a musician. He is also the winner of the BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composers’ Competition 2008 Junior Category (age 11 – 16) with his composition ‘Moth Lamp’. We caught up with Tom via myspace and asked him about what happened next and what his hopes are for the future…

Cat On The Wall: Can you tell our readers a little about yourself? Who is Tom Rose?

Tom Rose: I’m a student living in the UK and I write and play a lot of music. I write music where it’s needed and wanted or to express anything. I’m a keen jazz pianist and conductor too.

COTW: Where and when did you get the taste for music?

TR: Music has always been one of the most important things in my family, ever since I was very young I was introduced to and experienced a huge variety of music and musicians. It has become the main drive behind me getting on with living, and I can’t imagine not doing it.

COTW: You were the winner of the BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composers’ Competition 2008. How has it changed you like? What did winning the competition mean to you?

TR: It gave me an important and prominent platform to project my music to a wider audience. Getting a commission the following year for the 2009 BBC Proms was another chance to take this further. It is also a great encouragement to continue with what I’m doing, and important to learn things from the experience.

COTW: Where do you draw your creative inspiration from? Do you follow a process when writing your compositions?

TR: I think it’s very important to be honest to the music inside and around me – I try and write something down on paper every day; and I always try to write what I hear – no matter what the scale of the work is.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, or it can just be invented there and then. There’s no way of really knowing how things happen, they just do.

COTW: What are you listening to at the moment?

TR: I’ve been listening to a lot of Ligeti, Berio, Pérotin and The House of Bedlam recently, as well several bands including Mew, Marching Band, Frightened Rabbit and Throw Me The Statue.

COTW: What are you plans for the near future?

TR: I’ve recently went to study in the Netherlands for a short while, which was excellent in adding and developing some new perspectives and ideologies to the way I invent and produce music.

I’m doing some work with the National Youth Orchestra over this year – on their composers’ scheme, and with Aldeburgh Young Musicians – based at Snape Maltings. I’ve been awarded scholarships at music colleges in the UK – so need to decide which one I want to study at in 2010.
I’m hoping to follow some invitations to go out in to Europe again soon to get work done and experience different musical and artistic cultures.

Interview by Jo Whitby


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