in Tanzania to Australian parents, Tom Woods grew up in Perth, Western
Australia, where he learnt cello and piano and studied conducting with Richard
Gill at the West Australian Conservatorium. In 1989, he received a Department of Foreign Affairs
scholarship to enable studies in Moscow under Maestro Vladimir Ponkin.
Returning to Australia, Tom joined Opera Australia in 1993, becoming one of the youngest conductors in the company's history with his debut A Midsummer Night's Dream at age 23 to critical acclaim. Between 1993 and 1997, Tom was Assistant Conductor for over sixty operas; assisting such maestri as Richard Hickox, Simone Young, Christopher Hogwood, Sir Charles Mackerras, Richard Bonynge and Carlo Felice Cillario.
His ongoing relationship with Opera Australia has seen him conduct the world premiere of John Haddock’s Madeline Lee, the Australian premiere of André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and works including La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, Carmen, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Fille du Regiment, The Gondoliers and Patience. Tom has conducted for the State Opera of South Australia (Rigoletto, Il barbiere di Siviglia), West Australian Opera (La traviata) and Opera Queensland (The Mikado).