Thomas Dunford is widely recognized as one of the foremost young lute talents. He performs widely around the globe and his recordings have received great critical acclaim and awards.
Born in Paris in 1988, Thomas discovered the lute at the age of nine, thanks to his first teacher Claire Antonini. He completed his studies in 2006 at the Conservatoire de Paris (CRR) receiving a unanimous 1st Prize with honors in the class of Charles-Edouard Fantin.
Thomas continued his studies at the Schola Cantorum in Basel with Hopkinson Smith and participated in several master classes with top-caliber artists Rolf Lislevand and Julian Bream and workshops with Eugène Ferré, Paul O’Dette, Pascale Boquet, Benjamin Perrot and Eduardo Eguez. He was awarded his Bachelor’s degree in 2009.
Thomas gave his first performances playing the role of the lutenist in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on stage at the Comédie française. Since then, Thomas has played recitals in New York’s Carnegie Hall and Frick Collection, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Washington Kennedy Center, the Vancouver Recital Society, Cal performances at Berkeley, the Banff center, the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, the festivals of Saintes, Utrecht, Maguelone, Froville, TAP Poitiers, WDR Cologne, Radio France Montpellier, and Saffron Hall. He has made numerous solo or ensemble appearances in the most prestigious European festivals including Ambronay, Arc La Bataille, Bozar, La Chaise-Dieu, Nantes, Saintes, Utrecht and many others. Thomas has also performed further afield in England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Austria, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Czech Republic, Bresil, Colombia, Chili, Mexico, United States, Israel, China, Japan and India.
Thomas’ recordings have received widespread recognition. His 2018 album Bach, issued under the Alpha label, received critical acclaim being selected as Editor’s Choice by Gramophone and receiving a Choc from Classica magazine. His earlier album Lachrimae was awarded the Caecilia prize of 2013, with BBC Magazine calling him the “Eric Clapton of the lute”. Thomas’ album Labirinto d’Amore also received a Choc from Classica magazine.
Thomas performs on a variety of early plucked string instruments with top-flight ensembles including Les Arts Florissants, Akadêmia, Amarillis, Les Ambassadeurs, Arcangelo, La Cappella Mediterranea, Capriccio Stravagante, Le Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, La Chapelle Rhénane, Clematis, Collegium Vocale Gent, Le Concert Spirituel, Le Concert d’Astrée, A 2 Violes Esgales, The English Concert, l’Ensemble Baroque de Limoges, La Fenice, Les Folies Francaises, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Marsyas, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Les Musiciens du Paradis, Les Musiciens de Saint Julien, Les Ombres, Pierre Robert, Pygmalion, La Sainte Folie Fantastique, Scherzi Musicali, La Serenissima, Les Siècles, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and La Symphonie du Marais, amongst others.
Thomas is attracted to a wide variety of music including jazz and chamber music. He collaborates on projects with conductors and soloists Paul Agnew, Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, Nicola Benedetti, Keyvan Chemirani, William Christie, Jonathan Cohen, Christophe Coin, Iestyn Davies, Lea Desandre, Isabelle Faust, Bobby McFerrin, Philippe Herreweghe, Monica Huggett, Alexis Kosenko, Francois Lazarévitch, Anne-Sophie von Otter, Trevor Pinnock, Patricia Petibon, Sandrine Piau, Anna Prohaska, Hugo Reyne, Anna Reinhold, Jean Rondeau, Skip Sempé, and Jean Tubér.