Who We Are NEXT Musicians 2018-19 Tom Pickles Cello NEXT Musician 2018-19 Cellist Tom Pickles is a postgraduate student of Matthew Sharp at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He previously studied at University of London - Goldsmiths, and St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, and was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. His solo engagements have included concertos by Haydn and Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations; He has appeared at festivals around the UK and overseas in Norway, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. Tom is driven by a passion for sharing great music with as many people as possible, and a desire to bring people together and initiate cultural exchange through music. Why are you looking forward to taking part in NEXT? I am very excited to get started with this programme and feel lucky to be part of the first cohort. We have a great opportunity to learn from leading figures in contemporary music, and I’m particularly looking forward about performing alongside members of BCMG. It promises to be a unique experience that I will strive to extract the maximum from, and I’m sure in the future I’ll look back on this year as a highlight of my student years. As well as improving my performance skills and expanding my repertoire, I look forward to learning more about how contemporary music can make us think differently and say something striking about our world, and how I can play a role in its advancement through my performing career.