Toby Hession


‘Here is a young composer who stands at the threshold of what promises to be an exciting career.’

John Rutter CBE, 


Toby Hession comes from Peterborough, and currently reads music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he holds a Choral Scholarship and an Instrumental Award. Between 2010 and 2015 he attended Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, studying piano with the acclaimed Japanese virtuoso Masayuki Tayama ( ), with whom he continues to study, and composition with the award-winning Dr. Gavin Wayte ( ).


Composition plays a huge part in Toby’s life, and he continues to study it at Cambridge; his music is published by Edition Peters ( His works have been performed in such venues as Westminster Abbey, King’s College, Cambridge, Peterborough Cathedral, the Royal College of Music, and the Wellcome Collection, London by ensembles including The Aurora Orchestra, the Manchester Camerata, the Commonwealth Festival Orchestra, Chetham’s New Music Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain, Inner Voices, and the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. His works have been broadcast on Classic FM and Radio 3. He has just completed a brand new commission from the King’s Singers, in partnership with Edition Peters, and is working on an exciting new work for Portsmouth High School for Girls.


Toby is an aspiring conductor, having discovered his passion for the practice through his own compositions. He has conducted a wide range of ensembles, from small chamber groups to full Symphony Orchestra, and in venues that include Westminster Abbey, The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Manchester Cathedral, and Chetham’s School of Music; next season, he will conduct and direct the Cambridge University Music Society (CUMS) Concert Orchestra (CUMS CO), having been awarded 2nd Prize in the CUMS Conducting Competition.


Toby is experienced as a recitalist, soloist, accompanist and chamber musician, having given performances across the UK, at venues including St. Martin in the Fields and St. James’ Piccadilly, London, the Royal Northern College of Music, and Peterborough Cathedral. He has performed as a concerto soloist with the reputable Orchestra da Camera, and has participated in master-classes with Stephen Hough, Libor Novacek, Carlo Grante, and Tom and Jonathan Scott, among others. Most recently, Toby was awarded 2nd Prize in the Cambridge University Music Society (CUMS) Concerto Competition; he will play Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto (‘Emperor’) with the East Anglia Chamber Orchestra in November 2016, under the baton of Graham Walker. In September 2016, Toby will appear in numerous performances at the esteemed Orpheus and Bacchus Festival, near Bordeaux, France (


As well as being a composer, Toby is a proficient arranger. He has worked on arrangements of Musical Theatre numbers, chart songs, classical works, and is adept at medley construction. His arrangement skills stretch to orchestration too. In 2015 he produced the orchestration for an Australian Musical by Mathew Frank and Dean Bryant ( ), entitled The Silver Donkey, which received its UK Premier at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. He has also produced orchestral adaptations for Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.