Q & A with Thomas Hewitt Jones
Oct 2016

Q & A with Thomas Hewitt Jones

Excitement’s building for the world premiere of brilliant Thomas Hewitt Jones new work, DORICOverture tomorrow! We caught up with him this morning to find out more – 

Thanks for inviting Ensemble Perpetuo to premiere your new work, at Dorico’s launch! What is Dorico?

Thank you! The launch of Dorico marks a new generation of music notation software. Dorico has an intricate knowledge of how printed music should look, and provides us composers with a large variety of useful tools to make the composing process as efficient as possible. I really believe that Daniel Spreadbury and team have built a world-class music engraving engine. Having engineered the software with that as its core, there are limitless possibilities.

We love the energy of DORICOverture – how much flexibility were you given in what you wrote for the launch?

Daniel was very kind and we just agreed on ‘something upbeat’. I actually made a point of using an element of the new software as a starting point for the piece, so I picked one particular feature which piqued my interest. Dorico provides instantaneous re-notation of rhythms on altering time signatures, so I built the entire piece around that. Hopefully the result is a little bit unique in this regard!

The premiere is being live streamed. Do you find that scary or exhilarating?

I’ve had to do scarier things!

If you could write anything for anyone to be played anywhere, who what and where?

In another life I would have enjoyed collaborating with Dudley Moore – his comedy persona almost inevitably eclipsed his vast talent as a musician. One of my other heroes was Richard Rodney Bennett, for his musical diversity. I very much enjoy the exuberance of John Wilson & his orchestra, and would love to write a serious commission for them one day.

What’s next for you?

Straight after the Dorico launch, I’m off to Sydney for 3 weeks to finish a musical which has got funding for development. It’s about Lachlan Macquarie, one of the founding fathers of Australia as we know it today. My first musical, Rumpelstiltskin, is having a third UK run in December and its first US premiere in 2017, so it’s a busy time at the moment!

ONE WORD ONLY (thanks Little Venice Music Festival for letting us steal this!)

Where are you right now?


How would you describe yourself?


Walk, run or unicycle?


Of anyone alive or not, who would you take out for dinner tonight?


What did you have for breakfast this morning?


What do you love most about music?


Cake or biscuit?


What is your favourite word?


Who composed the last piece you played/practised?


Where in the world would you most like to be right now?


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