Tom was born and raised in Carmel Valley, CA where he began studying the classical guitar at the age of 12. Later, he continued those studies while attending Stanford University. He received a Ph.D. in Classics in June 2003. He has performed widely throughout the San Francisco Bay area and the Monterey Bay area. While working mostly as a soloist, Tom has collaborated with a wide range of other instrumentalists. He especially enjoys playing with symphonies and string ensembles. He debuted an original composition, Canciones for Guitar and String Quartet, by Charles Ferguson at Stanford. Most recently he was guest soloist with the Saratoga Symphony performing the Guitar Concerto No.1 in D by Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Tom continues to evolve his unique style, while exploring the world-wide literature as well as the many voices of the classical guitar.
Following are reviews of the album, "Soliloquy":
1. A music fan from Boulder, CO USA.
I love this CD! This gifted new artist has put together an exciting collection of pieces that he plays brilliantly and seductively, leading us through a breathtaking gamut of emotions. I am always on the lookout for new and innovative CDs in the classical guitar repertoire. "Soliloquy" did not disappoint me. A real gem.
"Another promising Bay Area musician rising"
2. A music fan from San Francisco, CA USA.
Thomas Hawkins takes his place among the other debutant San Francisco Bay Area classical performers, including the Del Sol Quartet and the San Francisco Guitar Quartet. This collection demonstrates yet again the soaring artistry and brilliance these local musicians bring to the world. Mr. Hawkins reveals the depth of these pieces with sensitivity and polished skill. This collection not only brings to light the wonderful range of the classical guitar, but the accomplishment of a skilled performer.
3. A music fan from Stanford, CA.
This CD is an exotic collection of pieces which show a wide range of moods and emotional landscapes: The Reis sounds like a melancholy hymn to memory, played with exquisite pathos. Mr. Hawkins' lingers at just the right moments, teasing out a subtle anguish from this haunting piece. The Albeniz Asturias is played with bravura, and Mr. Hawkins brilliantly executes the tempered, spare mid-section of the piece, rendering a truly exciting and moody interpretation. This CD ranges from the traditional Spanish sounds to the more edgy and experimental- sounding Walton (Track 10), and the surprise ghost track at the end is sure to delight. Bravo for such a unique recording!
"Inspirational with many moods."
4. A music fan from Atlanta, Georgia.
Truly this is a most pleasing collection of classical pieces, executed with skill and soul. Well-chosen selections for many moods. I never tire of listening to this CD.
"Interesting and varied program, idiomatically performed."
5. A music fan from Walnut Creek, CA United States.
As an aficionado of orchestra and chamber music, I approached Soliloquy with less than full-blown interest at first, but I was struck immediately by the appeal and variety of its repertory, the well-balanced and well-voiced chords, technical security, and minimum of fret noise. A later hearing, under much more congenial circumstances, confirmed and enhanced these impressions.
Clearly, Mr. Hawkins approaches his task with great technical ability, firm rhythm, and clear, pointed phrasing. The Albeniz pieces were full of character and brilliance. I especially enjoyed the rather Prokofiev-like Usher Valse. This second listening was in the company of a practicing guitarist, who readily concurred with these sentiments. I would unhesitatingly recommend this disc to anyone with the remotest interest in this repertory or in guitar playing of high accomplishment.