Thomas Bowes is one of the United Kingdom’s finest violinists. He is very active in the realm of cinema, and millions have heard him on the soundtracks of his 200+ film credits. Most recently he was featured as the solo violinist in Alexandre Desplat’s score for Guillermo del Toro’s award-winning stop-motion film Pinocchio.
His concerto appearances in Europe and the United States have included highly-praised performances of concertos by Elgar, Britten, Szymanowski, Walton, and Eleanor Alberga.
Bowes’s recording of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas was released in 2018 on the Navona label to great critical acclaim. Laurence Vittes in Gramophone Magazine called it “deeply human…unusually communicative…a succession of miracles.” His “Bach Pilgrimage” is now a regular feature of his concerts. In 2019 Bowes received a Sebastian Award from the Ars Ante Portas Civic Association of Bratislava, Slovakia for his “Extraordinary contribution in maintaining public appreciation of the work of JS Bach.”
Navona also released Bowes’s recording of the complete Ysaye solo Sonatas in 2020. Critics noted a rare depth of interpretation and characterization. The recording was nominated for the solo instrumental category of the International Classical Music Awards. A recording of the complete Telemann Fantasias for solo violin was released on the Navona label in October 2021 and has already achieved over 300,000 plays on digital platforms.
Most recently he is developing a touring show on the extraordinary life of Niccolò Paganini. It will be based around performances of his hair-raising Caprices for solo violin.
Between 1988 and 1993 he was the founding leader of the Maggini String Quartet and together with his wife, the composer and pianist Eleanor Alberga OBE, he formed the duo Double Exposure in 1995. The duo toured extensively with concerts and broadcasts in the United States and Europe and together they made a major tour of China in 1997, winning the hearts of their audiences wherever they played. They returned to China in November 2019.
Bowes had been a constant advocate of Alberga’s music and has given first performances and made recordings of many of her works including her two violin concertos.
Between 2003 and 2015 he was the Artistic Director of the Langvad Chamber Music Jamboree in Denmark. In 2010, with Alberga, he founded the music festival Arcadia in north Herefordshire, England.
Bowes is privileged to own and play a violin by one of the great Cremonese makers—a splendid 1659 Nicolo Amati.