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The Richard Thomas Foundation was established in 2009 to commission innovative and interesting works of contemporary performance art, and to support an ongoing programme of performances, recordings and exhibitions in London, Berlin, and elsewhere.

Since 2009 the Foundation has commissioned 21 composers;  created or supported 16 recordings; supported or promoted over 40 concerts; and provided core funding for 6 performing arts companies.  Many of the pieces we have commissioned continue to be performed all over the world, and some have won awards. Over 20,000 people have so far attended concerts to hear music we have helped commission. 

The Foundation launched two record labels in late 2015: Junk Ibu for contemporary music releases; and RTF Classical for modern chamber music releases



A new brass and percussion version for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales of Sadly now the Throstle Sings by Gavin Higgins, commissioned by RTF in 2012, will be broadcast on line on 5 August  here  (08/21)

In celebration of his 60th birthday earlier this year, we are supporting the Festival of Laurence Crane (07/21)

New Gavin Higgins CD on the way, including the RTF commissioned “Ekstasis” for string sextet (06/21)

We are working again with musicians Claire Booth and Andrew Matthews-Owen on a CD of songs written in Paris in 1913-14. We’ll be in the recording studio in November 2021 with planned release in 2022. (05/21)

Following our support in 2014 of the recording of the CD “Borderland” we are again supporting folk singer/songwriter Johnny Coppin to create a new CD recording, due out in 2022. (04/21)

Kali Malone previewed some of her RTF commissioned compositions at the on-line Nantes Festival Variations on 28 March, 18.00 CET in a performance with Stephen O’Malley and Macadam Ensemble.   On line until the end of April here.  (03/21)


A new orchestral version for the BBC Symphony Orchestra of Sadly now the Throstle Sings by Gavin Higgins, commissioned by RTF in 2012, broadcast on Radio 3 on 24 November and available on-line until 24 December here at c. 21 minutes in. (12/20)

“Gleann Ciùin” by Claire M Singer, a commission supported by RTF, is on the Large Chamber shortlist for the Ivor Composer Awards (11/20)

“Nymphea” a song from the album “Bleke” commissioned by RTF from Aski, is the theme music for the arts festival (IM)POSSIBLE BODIES, opening on-line on 23 October.  (10/20)

Alianza, a new album by CPI (Hugo Capablanca and Marc Piñol) commissioned by the Foundation now released on-line, vinyl version due in October (8/20)

The recording of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s RTF commission “12 Conversations with Thilo Heinzmann” performed by the Echo Collective nominated for the German “Opus Klassik” prizes in 3 categories: Kammermusik-Quartett, Ensemble/Orchester des Jahres; and Klassik Ohne Grenzen (chamber quartets, ensemble of the year, and classical music without borders).  (7/20)

We’ve commissioned Claire M Singer to create 2 new works at Het Orgelpark Amsterdam, and Monom Sound Berlin.  (6/20)

We’ve commissioned Kali Malone to create 2 new works at Het Orgelpark Amsterdam, and Monom Sound Berlin.  (4/20)

Congratulations to Hildur Guðnadóttir, who we commissioned in 2016, for winning the Golden Globe and Oscar for best original score for the film “Joker”, and BAFTA for the score for the TV series “Chernobyl”. (2/20)

The Foundation supported a performance of new compositions by John Lely and Laurence Crane at the concert programme 840, fifth anniversary concert” at Café Oto in London on 31 January. (1/20)

 “Extasis” – a string sextet we commissioned from Gavin Higgins – receives its world premiere at Snape Maltings on 20 June 2020 [Sadly now cancelled]. We’re recording it in November 2020 for release in 2021 (1/20).

Panspermia, the video we commissioned from Pinar & Viola, is on display in Berlin at Künstlerhaus Bethanien from 17/12 to 05/01 and at Art Rotterdam from 05/02 to 08/02. (1/20)


Jonathan Dove’s “Letters from Claude”, originally commissioned by the Foundation,  performed on 8 December at the Wigmore Hall, London, by Claire Booth and Sue Bickley accompanied by pianist Andrew Matthews-Owen as part of Jonathan’s 60th birthday concert. (12/19)

Congratulations to two Ivor composer winners,  Charlotte Bray in the category of solo and duo, for her composition “Invisible Cities” – which we recorded and released last year; AND  to Gavin Higgins, who we have now commissioned twice, winner in the orchestral category for his trombone concerto, “the Book of Miracles” (12/19)

We released enigmatic Swedish singer-songwriter Aski’s first recording, Bleke, on  1st December.  More details here (11/19)

We commissioned design duo Pinar & Viola to make a video art piece embodying AI and biotech. See it here (9/19)

We’ve commissioned composer Gavin Higgins to write a string sextet on the theme of “ecstasy”.  (8/19)

Echo Collective launch “12 Conversations with Thilo Heinzmann” by Jóhann Jóhannsson at Funkhaus Berlin on 20 September.  Further performances include Barbican Milton Court, London on 3 November. (7/19)

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The Foundation supported the commissioning of composer Claire M Singer for the PRS New Music Biennial.  Her piece, Gleann Ciuin, was performed with the London Contemporary Orchestra at the Southbank London on 5 July and in Hull on 14 July.  (7/19) 

The Foundation supported a performance of Eliane Radigue’s  Occam XXVI (2018) by the percussionist Enrico Malatesta at the concert programme Music We’d Like to Hear 2019″ in London on 12 July. Details here (6/19)

We supported Renaud Wiser Dance Company’s commissioning of composer Oliver Coates and performances  here (5/19)

Tickets on sale here for our next London concert with Ives Ensemble presenting music by composer Richard Rijnvos in October 2019 (3/19)

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Our latest album – “Songs and Vexations”, is now released! More details here (2/19)

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Two recording sessions in January – in Amsterdam with the Ives Ensemble recording “Riflessi” by Richard Rijnvos, for release in October 2019, and in Berlin with the Echo Collective recording “12 Conversations with Thilo Heinzmann” by Johánn Johánnsson for release in late 2019.  (01/19)


Our album – “Chamber and Solo works” by Charlotte Bray, was released on 3 October 2018. More details here. We held a launch concert in London on 16 October 2018 at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre.  Review of concert here (11/18)

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We’re at Jet Studio in Brussels with the Echo Collective making a demo recording of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s string quartet, “12 Conversations with Thilo Heinzmann”  (10/18)

Financial Times article about commissioning music includes an interview with Richard Thomas here (6/18)

Laurence Crane and Ives Ensemble pianist John Snijders in conversation here, including a discussion of our CD released last year, and the first ever RTF commission. (6/18)

160 people attended our latest concert including the world premiere of our Jonathan Dove commission “Letters from Claude”  in what was one of the first concerts in the newly reopened Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre (5/18)

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Two new projects underway – we’ve commissioned Berlin-based Spanish DJ Hugo Capablanca to create a concept album; and we’re supporting Oliver Coates‘ composition of a cello and electronics piece for Renaud Wiser Dance Company.  (3/18)

We deeply mourn the sad loss of our dear friend Johánn Johánnsson. (2/18)


Ives Ensemble CD selected as “Classical CD of the year” by critic Liam Cagney in Gramophone here (12/17) 

We’ve commissioned Jonathan Dove to write a song duet for Claire Booth and Sue Bickley, accompanied by pianist Andrew Matthews-Owen.  The piece will be based on the correspondence between Satie and Debussy (11/17)

Following our recording in Budapest in July 2017, new CD now released by our record label RTF Classical –  Andrew Matthews-Owen playing piano music by Joseph Phibbs, Hannah Kendall and Dobrinka Tabakova. “His playing throughout is a marvel” Guy Rickards, Gramophone.   Details here.  (10/17)

Joel Ashford gave the premiere of Martin Butler’s “Comic Book Fanfares” (supported in part by the Foundation) on 27 September 2017 at the Royal College of Music, London. (9/17)

Ives Ensemble CD shortlisted for the Gramophone Contemporary Classical Music Award. (8/17)

We’re arranging a recording of music by Charlotte Bray focusing on chamber music for the viola planned for release in November 2018, with a launch concert at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre on 16th October 2018. (6/17)

Our latest album – Ives Ensemble playing music by Laurence Crane, was released on 3 March 2017. More details here.     We held launch concerts in London on 18 March 2017 and in Amsterdam on 7 April 2017 with a total audience of about 200 people.  The first review (in Gramophone, March 2017) by Philip Clark said “I like this disc and think you ought to buy it.” (4/17)

Charlotte Bray’s Yellow Leaves performed by Claire Booth and Andrew Matthews-Owen was on Radio 3 at the end of an international women’s day broadcast on 7 March 2017


We’re in the studio with Swedish singer songwriter Aski Dahl,  recording her first album release, planned for 2018.  More details to follow! (12/16)

Fulham Brass Band played “Sadly Now the Throstle Sings” (commissioned by the Foundation) as part of a concert on 23 October. Details here (10/16)

Article on the Foundation in “Classical Music Magazine” here  (09/16)

Excerpts from Charlotte Bray’s “Yellow Leaves” (commissioned by the Foundation) performed as part of BBC Proms and broadcast on Radio 3 (8/16)

Presto Classical interview with Richard here (5/16)

Foundation arranged Allegri quartet CD launch concerts to an audience of about 170 at Conway Hall in London on 22nd May and of about 100 at the Piano Salon Christophori in Berlin on 25th May. CD reviews here. (5/16)

Gavin Higgins nominated for RPS large scale composition award for “Dark Arteries” – a piece based on an original commission by the Foundation (4/16)

World Premieres of two new Foundation commissions by Icelandic composers Jóhann Jóhannsson and Hildur Guðnadóttir were performed to an audience of 250 at Conway Hall, London (16/4/16).  Some details here.