Thomas Oehler

The versatile young composer, Thomas Oehler, is considered a very promising voice. Originally from Alsace, he first studied the trumpet at the National Music School in Mulhouse. He then focused on musicology and theory, obtaining a "Maitrise de musique" at the Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg. After graduating, he was awarded a merit-based scholarship to prepare for the "Agrégation de Musique", a highly prestigious academic competition in France to recruit teachers of higher education. He was ranked as one of the top applicants, out of more than two hundred others from all over France. Having a strong interest in teaching, he was invited to teach harmony and aural skills at the Marc Bloch University and initiated some research within the musicology department. He entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris in 2004 to study Harmony with Jean-Francois Zygel and Counterpoint with Jean-Baptiste Courtois where he obtained the prestigious "Prix d'Harmonie" in 2005 and "Prix de Contrepoint" in 2006, both with high honours. Always eager to develop a wide range of musical skills, he also received keyboard skills training with Isabelle Duha within the Conservatoire and piano lessons with Eliane Reyes, a former student of Martha Argerich. It was at that time that he developed a strong interest in music applied to other media and collaborated in September 2005 with the school of the National Theatre in Strasbourg. He wrote music for the play L'échange by Paul Claudel, working closely with the director. In September 2006, he came to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music on an Erasmus exchange, supported by the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund and a scholarship granted by the "Ministère de la Culture" through the Conservatoire. Initially willing to further his interest in music to picture, he quickly developed a strong personal style in composition, thanks to the teaching of Gary Carpenter. His first work, a piece for eighteen solo strings, allowed him to be offered a place on the masters programme in composition at the Academy, which he completed in one accelerated year in October 2008. He was also recipient of the prestigious Entente Cordiale Scholarship awarded by the British Council.
Since he entered the Academy, Thomas Oehler has developed his personal compositional voice, which aims to create a link between new music and his heritage from the French tradition. He has studied with Gary Carpenter and received tuition in various seminars from Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Simon Bainbridge and Dr Philip Cashian, amongst others. He had a piece for solo harp with live electronics performed at the Royal Festival Hall, in collaboration with the London Sinfonietta and Sound Intermedia; and a new piece commissioned by the European Union Chamber Orchestra was recently premiered in Latvia. He is currently holder of the Manson Fellowship in composition at the Academy and enjoys an intense activity.

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