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. 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.
Tom went on to become one of the leading players on the double bass, holding principal positions with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, English Chamber, City of Birmingham Symphony, and of course, two great periods with the London Symphony Orchestra.
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 the RSAMD 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.
As the years went on, Tom’s fascination with the instrument itself continued to grow. This has led to a ‘revolving collection’ of many of the finest double basses in the world passing through his hands, which have all found appreciative homes. Of course all these instruments have provided a great education for Tom who is now considered to be one of the leading experts on the double basses of the masters. His expertise is now sought by many players and dealers, and he has become a regular contributor with articles on the subject of basses and makers in The Strad and Double Bassist magazines.