Tom has been playing and working with the double bass for more than 60 years now. This experience, along with Tom's teaching and conducting, has enable him to be come one of the world's most experienced producer and seller of double basses.
Tom has been a luthier now, for over 30 years and produced over 160 of the 200 plus double basses that have come out of the Martin Workshop. Tom's extensive knowledge of the double bass has resulted in many fine instruments.
Tom has always been passionate about fine instruments. He has had the opportunity to study many of the worlds finest double basses and often knows the history of an individual instrument. Tom's expertise is sought by many players and dealers from around the World.
Thomas Martin's parents, on seeing their son's growing interest in music and especially the lower string sound, bought him his first double bass back in 1953. The seller, C David Horine, took the proceeds and opened the Bass Viol Shop in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
In addition to his studies on the instrument, young Thomas used to spend after school time and weekends at the shop nurturing what was to become a lifelong fascination with the instrument itself. Who were the great makers of the past? Who made the best ones? Why? How do they work? What tools are used? How do different woods sound? How do different ways of making affect the sound? What is the difference between a round or flat back? These and many other questions came to mind and many found answers.
My interest in Bottesini began only a few years ago (in about 1980) when my circumstance and especially my health allowed me to become interested in solo playing on the double bass and in the compositions of Bottesini in particular. This fascination grew to a desire not only to learn what I could about his music but also to an interest in the man himself as a person, player, and composer....
Tom has gone on to become one of the leading players on the double bass, holding leading positions with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin's Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and of course, two great periods with the London Symphony Orchestra. His five C.D.'s of the music of Bottesini have met with great critical acclaim (these C.D.'s can be ordered through Tom Martin as advertised on this site). He wrote a detailed article titled, Instruments "In Search of Bottesini" which can be found on the site.
Tom continues to travel around the world on a regular bassis playing and teaching
Tom taught for many years at London’s Guildhall School of Music and is now professor at the Royal College of Music in London. He is “International Chair of Double Bass” at Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music where he visits regularly. Tom is famed for making numerous solo and master-class appearances all over the World. It is a great endorsement to his teaching abilities that many of his past students now span the globe in leading positions.
Tom continues to teach the double bass and even runs sessions over SKype for his Bass room.
His friendship with several of the leading contemporary makers led to a keen interest in the art of the Luthier. Some twenty years ago Tom began studies in the craft under the influence of the prominent restorer and expert Andrew Dipper, former instructor at the International School of Violin Making - "A Stradivari"- in Cremona, Italy.
The instruments which came out of the Tom Martin workshop over the years that followed were small in number owing to the heavy working schedule as a player and teacher, but those made have found an appreciative and select group of owners from many of the greatest orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, and in leading ensembles in Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Spain, U.S.A. and Japan.
To date Thomas Martin has produced over 160 double basses and a number of fine violas and cellos.
Thomas Martin worked as editor on the Giovanni Bottesini, 'Messa da Rquiem'. With Double Bass virtuoso Thomas Martin stepping into conductor's shoes in Bottesini's unjustly neglected Requiem, this is one of the major releases of the season, which will be sure to generate wide interest.p>