Thomas Fellow is a musician with an almost inexhaustible supply of innovative energy. He is a first rate acoustic guitarist, a stunning virtuoso and is considered one of the best musical collaborators in the world. In addition, his name is also associated with the development of the pioneering education program "Acoustic Guitar (concert music, world music, jazz, pop)" at the “University of Music Dresden” (Germany), the artistic direction of the "European Guitar Award" and for his work as the author of the comprehensive educational work for guitar as an accompanying instrument ("FELLOW GUITAR BOOK").
Thomas Fellow was born in 1966 in Leipzig and had his first guitar lessons at the local music school at the age of 7. At 16 and with several prizes in national competitions to his name, he enrolled at the “University of Music Weimar”, first in the preliminary study year, followed by undergraduate, postgraduate and master classes with Professors Monika and Jürgen Rost. At the age of 19 he was the only guitar soloist entered into the official catalogue of the artists' agency of the German Democratic Republic, which at that time held a monopoly on placing musicians in prestigious concert series and at international venues.
As a musician
During his time as a concert guitarist, he won prizes at several international competitions (including Esztergom and Markneukirchen), played as a soloist with prominent orchestras such as the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra of Berlin, took over the premiere of dedicated works by Carlo Domeniconi and Jaime Zenamon and has performed in India, Brazil, USA, Russia and many European cities. He finished his classic career with a concert at the Berlin Philharmonic in 1992 to follow the music of his heart.
In 1991, he and the singer Constanze Friend formed the duo Friend ‘n Fellow. After more than 1500 concerts and more than 100.000 sold CDs it is considered the most successful project of its kind in Europe. They have toured the world from China (Beijing - China Millennium Park) to the USA (New York - World Trade Center) and shared the stage with Luther Allison, Ray Charles, Tommy Emmanuel and Al Jarreau among others.
Thomas founded his second musical project in 2000, a collaboration with guitarist Stephan Bormann, the successful Hands on Strings which has seen the release of four critically acclaimed albums. They received invitations to prestigious festivals in Rome (I), Columbus (USA) und Hamburg (GER).
Since 2012 he is also collaborating with Reentko (Germany) and two true legends of the classical guitar Pavel Steidl (Czech) and Zoran Dukic (Croatia) in the EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET to build bridges between the tradition of the concert instrument guitar and modern sounds from worldmusic and fingerstyle. Right after the concert debut they got invitations from leading festivals worldwide. With their debut album "DANZA" the quartet played several concerts in America and Europa, among others Mexico, the USA, France, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, a longer tour through Colombia and a concert at the renowned Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
As a teacher
Thomas Fellow is a professor of acoustic guitar (concert music, world music, jazz, pop) at the "Carl Maria von Weber" University of Music in Dresden, an educational program which Fellow himself established and developed. The innovative, contemporary approach of combining existing fundamental elements of classical and jazz guitar education with the richness of folk influences is unique in Germany
In addition, he directs the seminar "World Music / Improvisation" at the Weimar University of Music and is a frequent guest lecturer at universities (including Capital University in Columbus - USA, Real Conservatorio Superior de Musica Granada - Spain and Anton Bruckner University, Linz - Austria) and in various festivals in Malaysia, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany.
As a composer and author
Concert music by Fellow have been premiered at the Vogtland Music Festival and the Berlin Festival for Guitar and Chamber Music (Fantasy for guitar and string quartet). He is also the composer of film scores having written the music for a television documentary about the tenor, Jose Carreras. He received the “Gellert Prize”, the art award of the cultural area of Leipzig, for his composition "9 pm" (for 2 / 3 guitars).
homas Fellow is the author of a groundbreaking teaching book for the guitar as an accompanying instrument. This comprehensive textbook was published in December 2009 by Schott Music. Since April 2016 he is publishing together with SCHOTT MUSIC a series of sheet music, which is called FELLOW GUITAR MUSIC COLLECTION (Vol. 1- Medusa, Vol.2 - Pocket Fantasies, Vol. 3 - Fingerfood, Vol. 4 - Recital)
Thomas Fellow initiated Thuringia's Guitar/World Music Festival (1996) and the String Spring Festival in Dresden, which was founded in 2000. He also scooped the debute European Guitar Award, which first took place in Dresden in 2006 and which honors the best young creative guitarists from all over Europe. Due to its high-profile jury, this competition has been exceptionally well regarded since the outset.
In addition to various artistic competition achievements, Fellow was also a jury member at the German Music Instrument Prize.
As record label founder
Together with the cardiologist Prof. Dr. Hubert Seggewiß he founded 2014 the record label DOCTOR HEART MUSIC. Defined goal is it to grant the artists absolute freedom and the best conditions to develop and present their projects and recordings at the best. A special focus lies on music out of the following sections: Song, Worldmusic, concert music and Jazz. Experimenting close to musical borderlines is just as welcome as a certain "Pop-Appeal". Among the artists of DOCTOR HEART MUSIC are established acts like FRIEND 'N FELLOW, HANDS ON STRINGS and the EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET as well as promising newcomer like ANTOINE BOYER & SAMUELITO and MISS O'PAQUE.
New York City (World Trade Center), New Delhi (ficci Auditorium), Beijing (China Millenium Park), Shanghai (Anting New Town Open Air), St. Petersburg (Glinka Kapelle), Paris (Elyssees Montmartre), London (The 100 Club), Wien (Radiokulturhaus ORF), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Warschau (National Philharmonic Hall), Krakow (Wawel), Zürich (Blues&Soul Weekend), Luzern (Lucerne Festival, Blue Balls Festival), Rom (Festival of the Nations), Barcelona (Festival de la Porta Ferrada), Malaysia (Penang Jazz Festival), Monterrey Guitar Festival (Mexico), Kuala Lumpur, Budapest (Budapest Guitar Festival), Rijeka (Kastav Festival, Bratislava (Bratislava Jazz Days)Belo Horizonte, Moskau, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Bangalore, Bogota, Cali, Baranquilla, Medellin, Belgrad, Budapest, Prag, Liechtenstein, Wrozlaw, Poznan, Gdynia, Toulouse, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Orleans, Avignon, Salzburg, Linz, Innsbruck, Basel, Bern, Genf, Göteborg, Kosice, Mikulov, Dubrovnik...
...with the following orchestras and musicians:
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Kammerorchester
Orchester mit Solisten der Komischen Oper Berlin
Peer Arne Glorvingen
Dee Dee Bridgewater
They are fantastic!
Tommy Emmanuel über Hands on Strings
You knocked me out with your playing!
Bill Evans über Thomas / Friend 'n Fellow
Killing! It absolutely sounds like a whole band!
Tommy Emmanuel über Friend 'n Fellow
Top class guitarist
Times of India
Un guitariste acoustique genial
Cargo de Nuit/France
Sein Spiel ist einfach perfekt, in technischer
wie in geschmacklicher Hinsicht.
Was er auf den sechs Saiten bot, bedarf der Superlative,
um es auch nur annähernd zu beschreiben
Deux »F« d'exeption
La Republique/France über FNF
Ein Duo von Weltniveau
Welt am Sonntag über FNF
Akustik Gitarre über FNF
Ein Feuerwerk groovender Virtuosität
Süddeutsche Zeitung über FNF
..das soll ihnen erstmal jemand nachmachen.
Jazzpodium über HOS
Und der Hörer badet in ... zeitloser und perfekter Schönheit
Akustik Gitarre HOS
Es fenomenal! Bravo.
Hopkinson Smith über Hands on Strings »Offroad«
Thomas Müller Pering über FNF
Absolutely great. And when I say great, I mean great!
The sound of the new century
Luther Allison über FNF
I really enjoy your work
Al Jarreau über FNF