UK orchestra is shocked by death of young conductorNews
Members of the St Albans Symphony Orchestra have shared news of the sudden death of their conductor, Tom Hammond.
The New Year’s Cathedral concert this Saturday has been cancelled.
[A message from the orchestra’s co-chairs has been taken down from this report at their request.]
Tom Hammond founded the Hertfordshire Festival of Music in 2016 and worked regularly with orchestras on the outskirts of London. His recent soloists include Stephen Hough, Steven Isserlis and Veronika Shoot.
He was a fervent supporter of Palestinian causes and conductor of the Palestine Youth Orchestra.
Our sympathies to his family, musicians and friends.
UPDATE: Friends pay tribute-
PYO: We are shocked and saddened to learn that a great friend and family member of the Palestine Youth Orchestra Tom Hammond has passed away. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, May he Rest In Peace. The world has lost an amazing human being. Tom, thank you for everything, you will be dearly missed.
Mohamed Najem: All Palestinian musicians are mourning today.
Layth Hanbali: None of us will ever forget the kindness, energy, humour and humility of the amazing Tom Hammond. He gave young Palestinian musicians everything he had and loved Palestine so deeply. He wasn’t just our conductor; he became our colleague and friend, and part of the big family.
Every one of us was inspired and moved by your dedication, passion and your belief in us. I wish you could have come to Palestine just one last time.
Beth Taylor: The world has lost such an incredible talent and generous spirit. I’m heartbroken beyond words. Your support for young artists and kindness lifted my confidence and first connected me to the Hertfordshire Festival and its rich musical offerings; an experience that has stayed with me ever since I first telephoned you, a very enthusiastic wee student desperate to meet and sing to Dame Emma Kirkby, the first classical voice I ever heard as a child on my grandpa’s radio.