Tom has gained a reputation as an innovator, collaborating in recent years with poets, dancers, visual artists and folk musicians. He also enjoys working in duet with Richard Brasier; together they commission and arrange new works which push the boundaries of organ duo. He has pioneered the combination of organ and beatbox, performing with Shlomo in the Radio 1 Live Lounge on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme in March 2014. A subsequent performance with Shlomo and Reeps One at the Royal Festival Hall in London was also broadcast on Radio 3. In July 2017 he shared a residency at Battersea Arts Centre with Hobbit, with whom he is developing an organ and beatbox stage show. An ardent proponent of new music, Tom has premiered many new works including chorale preludes for the Orgelbüchlein Project and a cantata by Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon, commissioned for the reopening of the epoch-making Royal Festival Hall organ in 2014 and broadcast live on Radio 3.
Tom has been at the forefront of outreach and education in UK organ culture for a decade. He regularly teaches on residential courses for young organists, and gives masterclasses widely, recently in Sydney, Curtis Institute Philadelphia and Birmingham Conservatoire. Tom’s students have won scholarships at prestigious universities and cathedrals across the UK. He also has a commitment to working with amateur organists, and for some years has enjoyed teaching village organists in rural Kent. Organist to the renowned Eton Organworks project from 2007-2017, Tom has lead or developed several other education projects and recently co-founded the exciting #InspiringOrganists initiative in conjunction with the Royal College of Organists. During 2017 Tom has developed with Richard Brasier an event for children named Stops Away! He will continue his educational work as a Regional Director of the RCO from September 2017.
Tom is Artistic Director of the London Organ Day, practices as an independent organ adviser, and serves as Organist and Choirmaster at St.Michael’s Chester Square in central London. He writes occasionally and amongst others his work has appeared in BBC Music Magazine and Organists’ Review. He was taught by Kevin Bowyer (Manchester, RNCM), Jacques van Oortmerssen (Amsterdam) and Ann Elise Smoot (London).
"The interplay berween organist and beatboxes was dynamic, energetic, and intiguing. While some might be shocked to hear a 'classic' manipulated in this way ... the effect was much the same and the sonic experience was one we won't forget."
"Tom Bell uses the full resources of the Durham Harrison in a magnificent performance of a complex and diverse work which sounds very much of its time."
"Throughout his recording Tom Bell demonstrates technical command and control of a very high order as well as thoughtful, sensitive and creative musicianship. "
"Schoenberg’s Variations are a veritable tour de force and Tom Bell performs them flawlessly and seems at one with the style. Overall this is a most interesting and compelling release from Regent. I warmly recommend it."