Tom Newell began his musical journey in his home region of Shropshire, aged five. Playing classical and traditional music on the violin, he soon became involved in a wide range of ensembles and eventually travelled to London to take up a place at Trinity College of Music.
During his time at Trinity, Tom studied violin with Clare Thompson as well as baroque violin with Richard Gwilt, jazz violin with Omar Puente and mandolin with Alison Stephens.
After completing both undergraduate and master's degrees at Trinity, Tom embarked upon a freelance career of performing, teaching and writing; which continues to be his occupation today. Highlights have included a tour of China with the Kent Sinfonia, performing with a string quartet onboard the Saga Sapphire in the Caribbean and playing with Muse for the opening of the Brit Awards.
Tom is a founding member of contemporary folk trio Effra, who perform regularly at the major UK folk festivals, at venues up and down the country and on BBC Radio 3. He is also a member of 1920s and 30s dance band Alex Mendham & his Orchestra - resident at the Savoy Hotel where they perform monthly, in addition to their international dates in places such as Gstaad and Voronezh.
In the UK, one of Tom's principal activities is organising and playing in ensembles for private functions, festivals and other events. Classical, folk, pop and jazz are just some of the styles represented here. As part of the Nest Collective The Ceilidh Liberation Front perform regularly at Southbank Centre, Vaults Festival and for other events in London and around the country.
Tom also often works in TV and film, appearing in such productions as Netflix's The Crown and ITV's Grantchester. He has performed multiple times for XFactor and Britain's Got Talent with artists such as Mary J. Blige and One Direction, and has contributed to music videos such as Lana Del Rey's Young and Beautiful.
In addition to violin, Tom plays mandolin and banjo (four and five string). He dabbles in piano and occasionally performs on period baroque violin. Multi-instrumentalism is his forte and he will be just as likely be found strumming a charango as twanging a mouth harp.
From 2014-16 Tom studied for a master's degree in Ethnomusicology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, passing with distinction. He continues to read and write in this field and has, for the past few years, been writing album reviews and other content for Songlines Magazine.
When not performing or writing, Tom teaches violin and piano at George Green's School, has a number of private students and is a tutor with the English Folk Dance and Song Society. EFDSS, in partnership with the Centre for Young Musicians, delivers weekly folk ensembles which Tom co-directs. In April 2017 Tom will be running a course in folk fiddle at Morley College in Lambeth.