‘The most compelling music making of any kind I’ve heard in ages’
(The Dallas Morning News, USA)
The internationally renowned Australian organ virtuoso Thomas Heywood enjoys an outstanding reputation as ‘without argument one of the world’s best concert organists whose primary goal is to touch a wide public with music that stirs the soul as much as it stimulates the mind. His technique is impeccable and seemingly limitless. His command of musical style, particularly in large Romantic works, allows him to make them spring to life in the organ’s unique idiom.’ (The American Organist, March 2019)
‘An acknowledged master’, Heywood has travelled over 750,000 miles or 1.2 million kilometres performing solo concerts on the most celebrated pipe organs across the globe. He has an ever-growing repertoire of over 5,000 works and was the first Australian musician in history to live as a professional concert organist.
Also a talented and prolific transcriber, Heywood’s published solo concert organ arrangements of some the most famous music composed over the last 300 years are performed by organists around the world.
Heywood performs regular international solo tours in concert halls, town halls, cathedrals and churches throughout the UK, North America and Europe where German critics have hailed him as the ‘Ironman der Orgel. Der australische Starorganist Thomas Heywood.’
In December 2012 and January 2013, Heywood performed a sold-out solo tour of Russia from the Pacific Coast to Moscow. International solo touring since 2014 has included the UK, Europe, the USA, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Korea. Since 1994, Heywood has also performed more concerts in Australia than any other organist: to date over 1,750 concerts to over 600,000 people.
Having become the first musician in history to have transcribed the complete Beethoven symphonies for concert organ solo, in 2018 Heywood commenced a major international project to record the complete Beethoven symphonies as a solo artist in a cycle on landmark instruments across the globe. On the completion of this monumental project before 2027, Heywood will become the first musician in history to have transcribed, recorded and performed the complete Beethoven symphonies as a solo artist.
Heywood is also committed to promoting and preserving Australasia’s unique pipe organ heritage. In addition to his work as a concert artist, in 2011 he became the Founding President and Australian National Director of the Australian and New Zealand College of Organists – www.anzco.org.
As a teacher, he is on staff at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne and is Organist of Haileybury in Melbourne, Australia’s largest school, where he established and directs the Organ Scholars Program.
Born into a seventh-generation Melbourne musical family in 1974, Heywood was acknowledged to be a child prodigy giving his first public performance at five after commencing musical studies at the age of four. ‘Australia’s premier organist’ has since performed on thousands of occasions ranging from a celebrated recital in the Sydney Opera House at the age of 17 to touring in venues reading like an encyclopaedia of the world’s most famous organs from Windsor Castle to the largest pipe organ in New York City. Heywood has performed Mozart in Vienna, Tchaikovsky in Moscow, Handel in London and Beethoven in Bonn to both critical and public acclaim.
Heywood’s solo concerts are managed in the USA and Canada by Karen McFarlane Artists and internationally by Concert Organ International – www.concertorgan.com – the company he founded in 1997 with his wife Simone.
Regularly inaugurating new and restored organs since 1993, Heywood has opened many landmark instruments including the largest musical instrument in the southern hemisphere: the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ.
Since 1992 when he released Australia’s best-selling organ recording at only 18 years of age, Heywood has also become ‘one of the world’s most prolific organ recording artists’ with over thirty popular sell-out recordings receiving extraordinary praise from critics across the globe. In 2009 Heywood became the first, and remains the only, concert organist in the world to release three commercial recordings from three continents within seven months. His performances have been broadcast internationally on television and radio.
Not confined to the ‘organ world’, Heywood’s performances and success in reaching out to a vast concert-going public ‘have prompted critics to hail him as a reincarnation of Edwin H. Lemare’, the greatest concert organist of the twentieth century.
‘What a stunning player Thomas Heywood is. His flawless technique is just the platform from which truly artistic and memorable performances flow.’
(The Editor’s Choice – Organists’ Review, UK)
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