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Founded in 2013, Clifton International Festival of Music is Bristol's annual festival of world class classical music. Our mission is to bring you the best of music old and new, to inspire, enchant and delight you.

Tom Williams - Artistic Director


Tom Williams is a freelance choral conductor based in London. He has been the Musical Director of Nailsea Choral Society since 2012, and is Director of Music at St Matthew’s, Kensington Olympia, where he heads up a newly established music foundation comprising several choirs.

For six years he was the Choral Director at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square,
where he conducted the renowned choir in services, concerts and broadcasts, and on
several international tours.

Tom read Music at the University of Bristol and continued to postgraduate level researching the performance practice of Early Music, and in particular the Magnificat settings of Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer, Nicolas Gombert. Since leaving Bristol he has been most active as a choral conductor and has gained particular recognition for his interpretation of the music of the Renaissance period. He is in much demand as a workshop leader and has in recent times led workshops for the Laetare Singers, the Clifton International Festival of Music, London Three Choirs Festival and for groups of choral enthusiasts in Holland and France.
He frequently gives lectures on a variety of musical subjects ranging from the Eton Choirbook, music of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and the Tintinnabuli style of modern minimalist composer Arvo Pärt.

In 2012, Tom founded award-winning chamber choir, The Erebus Ensemble, with whom he
has appeared on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and Scala Radio, and in concerts across the UK and Europe. The group was Ensemble-in-Residence at the Bristol Proms (Bristol Old Vic Theatre)
and a prize winner at the inaugural London International Acappella Choir Competition at
St John’s Smith Square.

Peter Phillips - Festival Patron

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Photo: Eric Richmond

Peter Phillips has dedicated his career to the research and performance of Renaissance polyphony, and to the perfecting of choral sound. Having won a scholarship to Oxford in 1972, he gained experience as an undergraduate in conducting small vocal ensembles, already experimenting with the rarer parts of the repertoire. He founded The Tallis Scholars in 1973, with whom he has now appeared in over 2,200 concerts and made over 60 discs, encouraging interest in polyphony all over the world. As a result of this commitment Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars have done more than any other group to establish the sacred vocal music of the Renaissance as one of the great repertoires of Western classical music.

Peter Phillips also conducts other specialist ensembles. He is currently working with the BBC Singers, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Choeur de Chambre de Namur. He is patron of the choirs of Merton College (Oxford), Sansara (London), El Leon de Oro (Spain), and of the Festivals of Portsmouth and Clifton; he also hosts the annual Tallis Scholars Summer Course in Avila (Spain). In 2014 he launched the London International A Cappella Choir Competition in St John's Smith Square, attracting choirs from all over the world.

Poppy Beddoe - Artist in residence

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One of the country's rising musical stars, the clarinettist, Poppy Beddoe is in increasing demand as a soloist and a chamber musician throughout the UK and internationally.
Poppy graduated in Music from King's College London in 2014, followed by a Masters at the Royal Academy of Music in 2016.


Poppy has recently signed a recording contract with Ulysses Arts and her debut

album, Soliloquy, was released in December 2021. The album has been a huge success and has featured be featured by Apple Music consistently since release. 


She is also looking forward to recording a concerto written for her by Matthew Taylor
with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She will première the concerto with the Farnham Sinfonia in 2022. In 2022 she will be the Artist in Residence of the Clifton International
Music Festival.


She has been invited to give some solo recitals by the University of Houston, Texas in November 2022 where she will premiere several pieces written for her. This year she will also make her King’s Place debut and she is looking forward to playing at the St. Magnus international Festival in June. She has regular engagements in the South of France, notably at Conques and Marcilhac Abbeys. 


Poppy is the Co-Artistic Director of the Berkshire Chamber Music Festival and a teacher at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department. 


She is grateful for the support of the Talent Unlimited Charity, the Malcolm Arnold Trust and the Nicholas Boas Foundation.

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