Tomo Keller

Tomo Keller

Director / Leader

Tomo Keller was born in Stuttgart in 1974 to German-Japanese parents, both of whom were professional pianists. He started playing the violin at the age of six and at ten years old he gave his first performances as a soloist with an orchestra.

Tomo studied at Vienna’s University for Music and Performing Arts and New York’s Juilliard School. Numerous prizes and awards followed, including 1st prize at the Austrian National Music Competition, 3rd prize at the Fritz Kreisler Competition, 1st prize at the Johannes Brahms Competition, and the Grand Prize at the German Music Competition Berlin. He was also the first instrumentalist to receive the Aalto Stage Prize for young musicians.

He has since performed at major concert halls all around the world, including the Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Konzerthaus Berlin, Beethovenhalle Bonn, Kirov Theatre St Petersburg, Salle Pleyel Paris and the Barbican in London. He has been invited to music festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Festival de Musica Manuel de Falla and Oberösterreichische Stiftskonzerte. He has also been a frequent guest on radio and television broadcasts (ARD, BBC, NHK, ORF).

As a soloist Tomo Keller has performed with the Beethovenhalle Orchestra Bonn, St Petersburg Camerata, London Symphony Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Concert tours have led him all across Europe, as well as Russia, Asia, America and the Middle East.

Tomo Keller is a much sought-after orchestral leader, having led the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra (1999–2007), the London Symphony Orchestra (Assistant Leader 2009-2015) and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (2014-present). He has appeared with more than 20 orchestras as guest leader including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, DSO Berlin, SWR Stuttgart, WDR Cologne, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Tomo was appointed Director / Leader of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in December 2015.

Tomo’s recordings include solo works by Bach, Bartok and Ysaye, orchestral recordings including Stravinsky’s Apollon musagète with Sir John Eliot Gardiner/LSO, and Avant Gershwin with Patti Austin and the WDR Big Band, which was awarded a Grammy in 2008.

He has given masterclasses and orchestral classes at the Guildhall School and the Royal Academy of Music London as well as in South Korea and the United States.

Tomo Keller plays a violin by Andrea Guarneri, Cremona 1667, made available to him by the Swedish Järnåker Foundation.

Image credit: Thomas Carlgren