Composing his first symphony at the age of 13, this music savant forfeited the typical advanced classical composer training to write for opera, and elected to come to Los Angeles to compose for film.
Born in Esch-Alzette, Luxembourg, Tom was a mere seven-years-old when his passion and talent for music was first recognized. He was enrolled in the local children’s choral, which was then called “youth choral” because of its teenaged members. One year later, his lessons at the Music Conservatory of Esch-Alzette commenced, and after only three months of solfeggio only, he began to compose his first pieces for piano, choral for two voices and several small instrumental groups. [Solfeggio is the use of the sol-fa syllables to note the tones of the scale, and is used as a singing exercise in which the sol-fa syllables are implemented.]
After beginning piano lessons, he excelled so rapidly in composing that Maestro Pierre Cao, the conductor of the Radio Televisioun Luxembourg (RTL) Symphony Orchestra (now the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg), convinced the director of the conservatory to permit Tom to study harmony before finishing solfeggio. Tom was only 11-years-old.
Two years later, now just 13-years-old, Tom progressed to an almost unheard of plateau in a young composer’s pedagogy—he composed his Symphony No. 1 in E Flat Major, Op. 9. Four piano sonatas had preceded the work. Later that year, he was awarded “Best Composition” at a youth competition in Brussels, Belgium, where he gave a speech before the European Parliament.
The following year, Tom composed a minuet for three strings and piano that was part of a command performance before Her Majesty the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxemburg, Maria Theresa. During the summer of that year, the director of the Theatre of Esch-Alzette commissioned Tom to compose an overture for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the theatre. The overture was performed by the RTL Symphony Orchestra, and was conducted by Maestro Pierre Cao.
Tom also performed many of his works for small instrumental groups each year during concerts presented by the music department of his high school.
The most significant classical composition of his young life was written when he was in his late-teens, his Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 17, written before passing his A-Level in 1990.
For the following three years, Tom studied stylistic harmony, counterpoint and fugue at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Dance de Paris, where he achieved with three so-called “first prizes” (diplomas) in each subject. During this period, he was commissioned by the European Deputy, Viviane Reding, to compose the overture “Luxemburg in Europe” to celebrate the Contract of Maastricht, the contract ratifying the inner markets of twelve European Union (EU) countries, including Luxembourg.
With Tom’s works all being in classical and romantic styles, he decided to continue studying orchestra conducting at the Music Conservatory “Mozarteum” in Salzburg, Austria. For his second term, he chose to relocate to the University of Music at Graz, a lesser-known town in Austria, with such move allowing him to study with Canadian-born Raffi Armenian. During this period, Tom conducted his Symphony No. 2 with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Maribor (Slovenia), and attended two other academies of conducting—the Wiener Meisterkurse (Vienna Master Course) and Académie Internationale D’Interprétation Musicale pour Orchestre Symphonique (AIDIMOS)—over the next four years.
Tom’s departure from classical music studies to film scoring came at the encouragement of his orchestration instructor, Klemens Gadenstćtter. It was Gadenstćtter who noted that the world-renowned film scoring program at the University of California, Los Angeles, would allow for the style imitations Tom studied in Paris to be further cultivated and used for film music. Not wanting to follow the course of upcoming conductors and making his way through opera, Tom elected to move to Los Angeles, where he successfully graduated from the prestigious film scoring program.
In a very short time, Tom scored his first motion picture, June Cabin, produced and directed by Ross Otterman. Recording with a 27-piece orchestra, Tom reached into his classical training to bring a most haunting score to the screen. Following June Cabin, Tom is scoring Brotherhood of Blood for a German-American co-production starring Juergen Prochnow, directed by Michael Rösch and produced by Mr. Rösch and Peter Scheerer, Kinostar Filmproduktion GmbH.
In composing music to film, Tom’s musical gift and international training have allowed him a unique sensitivity to capture the emotions evoked on the screen, and to successfully translate those emotions to music. His recent work on the crime thriller Verso (Xavier Ruiz, dir.) and Scott Essman’s animated production, Dox E. Dog, demonstrates his wide range of writing and his unique, musical signature in serving each story.
Still drawn to his classical roots, Tom recently recorded and produced Symphonic Muse: The Works of Tom Bimmermann, an album consisting of his 2nd and 3rd Symphonies and his 1st Divertimento.
Tom truly practices the fine art of film scoring, evolving from similar roots of training that brought us the greats of film scoring in Hollywood, and not film scoring by sound design or by “ear.” His journey into motion pictures has begun.
His latest pieces are:
Piano Concerto Nr 1 C-Major op 42
Piano Sonata Nr 7 Eb-Major op 40
Day Dreamings for Plectre Orchestra, op 37
String Quartet N 3 C-Minor, op 38
String Quartet N 4 A-Major, op 39
Tom is a resident of Los Angeles, California, and Esch-Alzette, Luxembourg.
Click for copy of credentials