Tomo Keller

Leader/Director

Tomo Keller was born in Stuttgart in 1974, to German-Japanese musicians, and started playing the violin at the age of six. At ten years old he gave his first performances with orchestra. He studied at Vienna’s University for Music and Performing Arts and New York’s Juilliard School of Music.

Numerous top prizes and awards followed, at the Fritz Kreisler Competition, the Johannes Brahms Competition, and the German Music Competition Berlin where he was awarded the Grand Prize. 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, most recently at the new Philharmonic Halls of Hamburg and Paris and has been invited both as soloist and chamber musician to music festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele and Festival de Musica Manuel de Falla. He has also been a frequent guest on radio and television broadcasts on ARD, BBC, NHK and ORF.

As a soloist Tomo 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 London Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Leader from 2009-2015. In 2014 he became first concert master of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared with more than 20 orchestras as guest leader all over Europe, the US and Asia. Tomo was appointed Leader of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in December 2015.

Tomo’s recordings include solo works by Bach, Bartók and Ysaÿe, 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 violin, chamber music and orchestral masterclasses at all major London Music Colleges as well as at Yale University and numerous other schools in the US and the Far East.

Tomo Keller plays the 1709 ‘Crafoord’ Stradivarius violin, kindly made available to him by the Swedish Järnåker Foundation.

Image credit: Thomas Carlgren