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David Thomas (Lionel Mercer)

Professorial Staff - Voice


Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Faculty of Music
King Charles Court
Old Royal Naval College
SE10 9JF

Tel: +44 (0)20 8305 4444


David Thomas smiling headshot


The English bass, David Thomas (Lionel Mercer) first gained recognition as a soloist with Rooley’s Consort of Musicke, Christopher Hogwood’s Academy of Ancient Music, and other early music groups in England. Subsequently he appeared throughout Europe. In 1982 he made his USA debut at the Hollywood Bowl. In later years, he pursued an international career.  David Thomas won particular distinction for his performances of works by Monteverdi, Purcell, Bach, Handel, and Mozart. His repertoire ranges from the Baroque and Classical, in which he has largely specialised, to Walton, Tippett, Britten, Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Schnittke. His career has taken him to Europe, USA and Japan and he has appeared at many prestigious festivals including Tanglewood, Salzburg, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Stuttgart, Aldeburgh and the BBC Promenade concerts.

David Thomas has appeared with many of the major symphony orchestras and ensembles in the UK, including the City of Birmingham Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, the Hallé, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the London Classical Players, the Scottish Chamber, the Manchester Camerata, the Northern Sinfonia, the Taverner Consort, the Academy of Ancient Music and London Baroque, and he has worked regularly with conductors such as Simon Rattle, John Eliot Gardiner, Nicholas McGegan and Christopher Hogwood.

David Thomas appears frequently in Europe, especially with the Academy of Ancient Music. Other engagements have included Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) performances in Leipzig and Berlin, a series of Messiahs in Italy and concerts with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Fundaçao de Sao Carlos in Lisbon, the Wiener Akademie, with the Kammerchor Stuttgart in concerts in Göttingen, and Handel’s Serse and La resurrezione in Brighton and Göttingen. His engagements in the USA have included the Messiah with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in the Hollywood Bowl, The Creation with Boston Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle, the Messiah at the Lincoln Center with the Academy of Ancient Music, Schubert’s Winterreise at Cornell at University and Handel’s Judas MaccabaeusSusanna and Theodora with the Philharmonia Baroque and Nicholas McGegan.

Qualifications/ Educational Background

David began singing as a boy chorister in the choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Later he was educated in King’s School, Canterbury, and as a teenager won a choral scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge.

Creative Outputs

Television recording of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the London Classical Players conducted by Roger Norrington