Tom Ward classical guitarist
Tom Ward is the youngest child from a family of three children. Ani, eldest sister and Mairi in the middle.
Tom was born on the 25th of April 1983 into a very creative family in Launceston Tasmania and has been connected to music from birth.
His father Ian Ward, luthier of guitar, inventor, builder and mother Jenny Ward, an English teacher migrated to Australia in the early eighties.
Tom’s creative parents made for their children lots of inspiring and healthy activities. Father Ian was responsible for organizing hands on technical activities for the kids and mother Jenny always engaged children with mind challenging games. From time to time they made family concerts and played music together.
When Tom was five, his father often played the guitar and gave Tom his own small guitar. By nine years of age, Tom learned how to play the mandolin all by himself.
At twelve, Tom had a life changing moment. He heard the music by guitarist John Williams. Young Tom bought John William’s CD album and full of excited inspiration, Tom decided to learn classical guitar but when Tom’s friend gave him sheet music to play, Tom could not read it. He could play some songs by heart but could not read the sheet music. Tom then asked his parents for music lessons in classical guitar so he could read and make good music.
In 1997, Matthews Tyson became Tom’s first guitar teacher and taught Tom for five years at the St. Cecilia School of Music. During these years, Tom completed two music diplomas.
Tom’s music studies
In the year 2000, Tom Ward was awarded the title of “Tasmanian Composer of the Year”. To get this award, he had to write sheet music for guitar and orchestra combined.
By 2001, Tom received first place in numerous music competitions and released his first CD album titled “Tasmanian Sunrise”.
Later that year, Tom met Timothy Kain, teacher of guitar at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. When Tom was sixteen, he met Timothy during a guitar festival and asked him for lessons, but Timothy told Tom “no lessons!” until Tom applies to enter the university.
In 2001, Tom entered music study on full scholarship. Tom commenced his Bachelor of Music (B-Mus hons) under the mentorship of Timothy Kain at the Australian National University (ANU).
Tom received his first class honors degree in 2005. During this period, Tom also had the opportunity to study with artists Geoffrey Lancaster, Pavel Steidl and Carlo Barone.
Making money & career
When Tom graduated from University, he realized that he could make just enough money from music to survive paying for food and rent. Tom decided that he will not do anything else but this. Tom never thought about a career or profession in anything else other than his classical guitar music and that is what he does every day. Tom is practicing, performing, evolving, improving his art of classical guitar music and travels around the world to share it.
“I am lucky that my mother and father never told that I should be a doctor or a lawyer, they didn’t talk about money. They didn’t say I need a career or profession, they just said that I needed to learn and get better.”
Tom’s first street performance
The first street performance Tom gave was at the age of fifteen in front of a cafe in Tasmania.
“It was not even a show, I just played outdoors of a small café that doesn’t exist anymore, it was called ‘Red Peppers’. Around five people were watching me Tom says laughing, but the café had only six seats!”
Shows, Travels, Street Busking
Even though Tom is widely popular for his street shows, he does about 200 concerts per year indoors.
Tom travels around the world with his shows. Approximate tour schedule looks like this: –
World Tour routine
- New York – from the middle of June till July
- Canada (on Canada day), 1st of July
- France – the whole July (Avignon festival),
- Scotland (Edinburgh festival), August
- London UK, Germany, France, September to October
- Back to Australia November
Performances & in the press
Tom’s music is regularly broadcast on the ABC radio and often appears in Australian, New Zealand and Japanese newspapers. He has performed in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, London, France, Canada, USA and at Maestro Carlo Barone’s request, performed an all 19th Century program at the International Condrongianos Festival in Italy 2004. He is also featured in tourism brochure on entry for new visitors to Sydney as an interesting entertainment personality in the streets of Sydney.
Recently Tom performed at the Darwin International Guitar Festival and represented Australia with a series of eleven highly acclaimed concerts at the Japanese World Expo.
Tom is fully commitment to his guitar music and he considers it an absolute necessity to explore the bounds of further music development through continued study, understanding the interpretation of the great composers, conductors & soloists. Tom’s guitar is the most versatile & expressive solo instrument people have ever seen.
- Tasmanian Composer of the Year (2000) (Australian Society of Musicology & Composition).
- Foundation for Young Australians, Australia Day Young Citizen of the year (2003).
- 1st Place in the ensemble section (guitar trio) at the Australian International Guitar Festival (2004).
- 1st place, Open Instrumental section, Hobart Eisteddfod (2004).
Finalist at the International Gisborne Music Competition New Zealand (2004).