Professorial Staff – Percussion
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Faculty of Music
King Charles Court
Old Royal Naval College
Area of WorkWind, Brass & Percussion Department
Percussion and piano were the vehicles which led Nigel Thomas (via Brass Bands and Youth Orchestras) to the Royal College Of Music (in 1978) as its first ever Timpani & Percussion Scholar. Soon to follow was being appointed timpanist with the European Community Youth Orchestra, winning the Shell LSO Music Scholarship (1980) and an invitation to join the London Philharmonic Orchestra (where he remained for 8 years). In 1988 Nigel was headhunted to be Principal Percussionist of the London Symphony Orchestra, whom he joined later that year.
In 1981, the critically acclaimed Scottish trio ‘The Blue Nile’ invited Nigel to record with them on their upcoming album ‘A Walk Across The Rooftops’ (and subsequently ‘Hats’ and ‘Peace At Last’) : This relationship flourished for the best part of 25 years.
In 1991, Nigel took a ten year sabbatical from orchestral life relocating to North Wales, where he built a recording studio, and created his solo album ‘Public Face, Private Face’ under the name ‘Quiet City’. He also continued to tour and record with The Blue Nile during this period and also undertook numerous invitations to guest on other artists live & studio work.
Fast forward to 2002, and orchestral life beckoned Nigel once again: He approached the LSO to ask if it would be possible to come in to play and to see if his rekindled enthusiasm was permanent or just a passing phase. The former proved to be the case, and Nigel subsequently rejoined his old orchestra as Principal Timpanist in January 2003.
Nigel is Professor of Timpani at both the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music.