Thomas Fellow is a musician with an almost inexhaustible supply of innovative energy. He is a first class acoustic guitarist, a breathtaking virtuoso with a signature sound, and is considered one of the best musical collaborators on this instrument.
His was instrumental in developing the groundbreaking ACOUSTIC GUITAR course (concert music, world music, jazz, pop) at the Dresden University of Music and is responsible for the artistic direction of the EUROPEAN GUITAR AWARD.
He is the author of the comprehensive educational book for guitar as an accompanying instrument (FELLOW GUITAR BOOK). As a composer, he has his own edition on Schott Music (Fellow Guitar Music Collection).
Thomas Fellow studied classical guitar performance at the Hochschule für Musik "Franz Liszt" in Weimar with Monika and Jürgen Rost. During his time as a concert guitarist, he won prizes at various international competitions, performed as a soloist with outstanding orchestras (including the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra, Berlin) and travelled internationally for concerts to India, Brazil, the USA, Russia and across European. Various well-known composers (including Carlo Domeniconi and Jaime Zenamon) dedicated compositions to him and entrusted him with the premiere performance of their works.
Thomas Fellow ended his classical career in 1992 with a successful concert in the Philharmonie Berlin. Since then he has concentrated on his own music and on selected projects. With his two duos FRIEND `N FELLOW and HANDS ON STRINGS as well as the EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET (with Zoran Dukic, Pavel Steidl and Reentko Dirks) he has given almost 3000 concerts in over 30 countries. With the EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET he has performed in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Moscow's Tchaikovsky Hall and New York's Kaufmann Concert Hall. He was at the Penang Jazz Festival (Malaysia) and in the legendary THE 100 CLUB in London, among other venues, with FRIEND `N FELLOW. Notable performances with the duo HANDS ON STRINGS include the Festival of the Nations in Rome and in the Leipzig Gewandhaus.
Thomas Fellow has shared the stage with legends like Luther Allison, Ray Charles, Al Jarreau and Tommy Emmanuel. In 2018 he returned to the "classical world" at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival performing with world stars Sabine Meyer and The King's Singers in concerts that included works by Mendelssohn.
For several years, Thomas Fellow has been recognised as a composer and author. His works can be found on CDs of well-known artists, heard in concerts worldwide and are taught in over 60 countries through the TRINITY College program. His sheet music is published with Schott Music under the series “Fellow Guitar Music Collection”. Under this collection, "Fellow Guitar Book" written for the guitar as an accompanying instrument, is now considered a standard work.
Since 1992 Thomas Fellow has been an active faculty member, teaching at the Musikhochschule Dresden. There he developed a comprehensive education programme for the acoustic guitar as a classical as well as contemporary instrument. Graduates of this programme include many competition prize winners, scholarship holders and internationally renowned performing artists. The Musikhochschule Dresden is now one of the leading educational institutions for this instrument. In 2018, Thomas Fellow was awarded the Saxon Teaching Prize for this innovative idea.
Thomas Fellow was a guest lecturer for "World Music/Modern Styles" at the Musikhochschule Weimar for many years. He is also a regular guest at universities across the world (eg: Capital University Columbus/USA; Real Conservatorio Superior de Musica Granada /Spain; Anton Bruckner Private University Linz / Austria) and invited to music perform and teach at guitar festivals worldwide.
Apart from his position as Professor at the Dresden University of Music, his activities as a composer, label founder and as a festival organizer, there are three musical projects that he focuses wholeheartedly on:
FRIEND `N FELLOW, HANDS ON STRINGS, EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET
They are fantastic!
TOMMY EMMANUEL about HANDS ON STRINGS
You knocked me out with your playing!
BILL EVANS about THOMAS / FRIEND ‚N FELLOW
Killing! It absolutely sounds like a whole band!
TOMMY EMMANUEL about FRIEND ‚N FELLOW
Composer & Author
Early concert music pieces 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).
Thomas Fellow is the author of a pioneering method for the guitar as an accompanying instrument. This comprehensive textbook was published by SCHOTT MUSIC in December 2009. Since 2016 he has, in addition, published a multi-volume series of concert music for guitar under SCHOTT MUSIC: the FELLOW GUITAR MUSIC COLLECTION (Volume 1 – Medusa, Volume 2 – Pocket Fantasies, Volume 3 – Fingerfood light, Volume 4 – Children's Corner, Volume 5 – Fingerfood XXL/Volume 1 , volume 6 – Fingerfood XXL/Volume 2 ).
After focusing on creating music just for his own projects, he began composing again for others in 2012 and has subsequently composed more than 200 works for Solo Guitar and smaller Chamber Ensembles with Guitar.
His piece MEDUSA was the catalyst for a profound collaboration with SCHOTT MUSIC resulting in a worldwide resonance and multiple recordings. Since April 2016 he has been publishing a series of sheet music with SCHOTT MUSIC called FELLOW GUITAR MUSIC COLLECTION (Vol. 1- Medusa, Vol.2 – Pocket Fantasies, Vol. 3 – Fingerfood Light, Vol. 4 – Children’s Corner.)
Fellow’s music has been performed in some of the most important concert halls worldwide (Tchaikovsky Hall Moscow, Kaufmann Concert Hall New York, Concertgebouw Amsterdam), played by some of the leading exponents of the instrument (Zoran Dukic, Pavel Steidl, Reentko, Helen Sanderson, Nora Buschmann, Jule Malischke, Takeo Sato, Inoi Ami, Aladdin Haddad).
Some of his easier pieces are part of the current syllabus of the TRINITY COLLEGE LONDON program, which is used for music education in more than 60 countries.
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 in the early 90s. The innovative, contemporary approach of combining existing fundamental elements of classical and jazz guitar education with the richness of folk influences and new influences from the fingerstyle guitar is unique in the German-speaking world and beyond. This course focuses on creative elements in particular arranging, composing, improvising and accompaniment, and represents a return to the universal musical education prevalent in earlier times (e.g. in the 17th and 18th centuries) in the West, and also prevalent in many current musical cultures.
In 2018, Thomas Fellow was acknowledged by the State of Saxony with the Saxonian Education Award for this innovative idea. The list of his former students is long and includes many internationally very successful concert musicians, competition prize winners and scholarship holders.
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 the USA, Colombia, Mexico, Malaysia, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany.
With the support of the Ministry for Science and Culture of Saxony, Thomas Fellow and Judith Beckedorf developed a video tutorial (in German) on the subject of "Differential Practicing" during the Corona period.
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 debut 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..
Doctor Heart Music
Together with the cardiologist Prof. Dr. Hubert Seggewiß he founded the record label DOCTOR HEART MUSICin 2014. Their defined goal is it to grant the artists absolute freedom and the optimum conditions to develop and present their projects and recordings at their best. A special focus lies on music out of the following genres: Song, World-music, 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 newcomers such as ANTOINE BOYER & SAMUELITO and SÖNKE MEINEN.
Thomas Fellow has played more than 3000 concerts in over 30 countries . He was invited to major Classical Concert Series and Festivals as well as to Jazz Festivals, Blues Festivals, World Music Festivals, Pop Festivals, big TV Events, Radio Broadcasts and countless Guitar Festivals
New York City (World Trade Center/Kaufmann Concert Hall/Buttenwieser Hall) • Chicago (Ravinia Festival) • San Francisco (San Francisco Performing Arts Center) • Beijing (China Millenium Park) • Shanghai (Anting New Town Open Air) • New Delhi (Ficci Auditorium) • Kolkata (International Guitar Festival) • Moscow (Tchaikovsky Hall) • St. Petersburg (Glinka Kapelle) • Paris (Elyssees Montmartre) • London (The 100 Club) • Wien (Radiokulturhaus ORF) • Amsterdam (Concertgebouw) • Warsaw (National Philharmonic Hall) • Krakow (Wawel) • Zurich (Blues & Soul Weekend) • Luzern (Lucerne Festival, Blue Balls Festival) • Rom (Festival of the Nations) • Barcelona (Festival de la Porta Ferrada) • Bogotá (Luis Ángel Arango Recital Hall) • Malaysia (Penang Jazz Festival) • Mexico (Monterrey Guitar Festival) • Kuala Lumpur • Budapest (Budapest Guitar Festival) • Bergen (Bergen Music Festival) • Rijeka (Kastav Festival) • Bratislava (Bratislava Jazz Days) • Houston • Tucson • Belo Horizonte • Mumbai • Madras/Chennai • Bangalore • Medellin • Cali • Baranquilla • Belgrad • Budapest • Prag • Liechtenstein • Wrozlaw • Poznan • Gdynia • Toulouse • Lyon • Marseille • Montpellier • Orleans • Avignon • Salzburg • Linz • Innsbruck • Basel • Bern • Genf • Göteborg • Kosice • Mikulov • Dubrovnik
and almost everywhere in Germany including:
Berlin (Philharmonie, Schauspielhaus, Deutsche Oper, Tempodrom) • Leipzig (Gewandhaus, Oper) • München (Gasteig, Muffathalle, Tollwood Festival) • Hamburg (Laeiszhalle, Fabrik, Große Freiheit) • Düsseldorf (Tonhalle) • Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival • MDR Musiksommer • Leverkusener Jazztage • Kunstfest Weimar • Kulturarena Jena • Beethovenfest Bonn • Leipziger Jazztage
He has performed with the following orchestras and musicians:
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Kammerorchester • Orchester mit Solisten der Komischen Oper Berlin • Schweriner Philharmonie • Leipziger Streichquartett
Sabine Meyer • The King’s Singers • Ensemble Amarcord
Oscar Andrade • Raul Aliaga • Peer Arne Glorvingen
Luther Allison • Bernard Allison • Ray Charles • Al Jarreau • Dee Dee
Bridgewater • Maceo Parker • Simply Red
25 Mä SCHWERIN (D)
1 Apr ZWICKAU (D)
Seminar/Weiterbildung Konservatorium tf
13 Apr MAINZ
28 May IDAR-OBERSTEIN (D)
2 Jun KÜHLUNGSBORN (D)
Bluesfestival (Kunsthalle) fnf
10 Jun Private Function
17 Jun EINBECK-SÜLBECK (D)
Open Air HOS meets Caterina Lichtenberg/Mike Marshall hos
17 Jun NEUPETERSHAIN (Lausitz – D)
Gut Geisendorf hos
24 Jun NEUHARDENBERG (D)
30 Jun HALLE/SAALE (D)
Open Air fnf
8-10 Jul MIKULOV (CZ)
Guitar Festival EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET tf
9 Jul MIKULOV (CZ)
Festival (Concert EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET) tf
14 Jul WÜRZBURG (D)
15 Jul BRANDENBURG/HAVEL (D)
22 Jul HERSBRUCK (D)
Open Air fnf
6 Aug BONN (D)
Bundeskunsthalle Sommergarten (11.30 – 14:30) fnf
13 Aug SAALFELD (D)
Paulinzella Festival Open Air fnf
19 Aug AUERBACH (D)
Töpfermarkt Open Air fnf
27-3 Aug MONNEREN (F – Lothringen)
Kurs Stimme/Gitarre (komplett) fnf
8 Sep MAGDEBURG (D)
15 Sep MARIENBERG / Sachsen (D)
Baldauf Villa fnf
16 Sep LEIPZIG (D)
24-27 Sep STUDIO RECORDINGS
NEW CD EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET tf
28 Sep BAMBERG (D)
Gitarrentage EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET tbc tf
6 Oct NORDHAUSEN (D)
Eröffnung Jazzfestival fnf
14 Oct HANNOVER (D)
29 Okt ROSTOCK (D)
4 Nov FREEPSUM / Ostfriesland
13 Nov DRESDEN (D)
Frauenkirche – Daniel Hope presents GUITAR DRESDEN tf
1 Dec RAVENSBURG (D)
7 Dez KAISERSLAUTERN (D)
Kammgarn – Cotton Club fnf
8 Dez HELMBRECHTS
Classical Guitar (Garcia Model) by MAARTEN VAN GUYSE
LARRIVEE – LSV 11
with a L.R.Baggs I-mix-system
YAIRI CY 62 CE
with a stereo pickup system, which can split between bass strings and trebbles – unfortunately no longer available
THOMAS FELLOW is part of the D’Addario family and uses D’Addario strings exclusively.
Supported by VOVOX
SEYMORE DUNCAN "TARA" ACOUSTIC AMP
Additional Effects (Reverb)
For recordings he also uses several other guitars, for example:
National: Luther Allisons 1934 National Duolian (an absolute precious gift)
Baritone: Larrivee Baritone BT 60 (supported by Best Acoustics)