Tom Bowling Biography
Born in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mr. Bowling started musical studies early, beginning Suzuki piano lessons at 1 1/2 years of age, but wasn’t mature enough. At the age of 3 he resumed Suzuki piano lessons and piano was his focus until he joined his 6th grade orchestra at the age of 11. In high school he was awarded the International Scholar Award from Delta Airlines which provided a scholarship and airfaire to attend Eastern Music Festival.
At 17 he began performing with the Flagstaff Symphony, and around this same time met Emanuel Vardi. The virtuoso violist Emanuel Vardi is considered by many the greatest viola technician of his time. Mr. Vardi quickly took Tom under his wing, inviting him to move to Sedona, AZ, where Vardi had retired to paint. Under Vardi’s daily tutelege Tom recieved the majority of his technical and artistic education.
At 20 Tom moved to Cleveland to begin working and within months had established himself as a successful freelance musician. In Cleveland, Tom performed multiple times with touring companies including the Houston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. He had the pleasure of performing with artists such as “Smokey” Robinson, Robert Page, Michael W. Smith and many more. It was in one of these orchestras that Tom met the Danish violinist Hanne-Berit Hahneman, who at the time having just left Orpheus in New York was acting as Cleveland’s freelance concertmaster. Impressed by her interpretive depth, he begun studies with her in hopes of gaining insight into her approach to music, as a living and constantly changing entity.
He gave lessons and sectionals at area high schools, instructed for CityMusicKid’s El Sistema project, and was violist for the Music Outreach Collaborative, a trio that performed live classical music-themed educational children’s shows for 4-6 year olds in the most “at risk” Head Start programs in the city. While in Cleveland he also cofounded a new music ensemble that recieved university residencies and premiered a number of new works.
A year ago Tom moved to Austin and began building a private lesson studio. Since being in Texas he has performed frequently with the Victoria Symphony, including their Cirqeu de Soleil performances, and other regional ensembles, and also plays multiple times a week with Terra Vista Strings.
Mr. Bowling’s teaching style comes from a combination of his experience with traditional lessons gleaned from the priveledged time he spent studying with the emminent viola virtuoso Emanuel Vardi and the violin phenom Hanne-Berit Hahneman, infused with the over-arching Suzuki advancements such as the mother tongue approach and talent education. This system allows the nurturing and native learning advancements of Suzuki to combine with the individual artistic experience of traditional lessons. This creates a young pupil who has both open ears and the ability to sightread. A yound person who can both follow directions and think for themselves.