Thomas Fortmann was born in Switzerland and became a successful songwriter during the 70s, while also engaging in an international golfing career. He wrote his first hit at the age of 16, which was followed by over a hundred titles released in more than 27 countries. Famous German rock stars such as Udo Lindenberg, Love Generation, Jürgen Drews and others, as well as British artists, e.g. Alexis Korner and Italian singer Daniela Davoli have recorded his songs. He composed the music for the musical Tell, which created a scandal in Switzerland. The record made it into all German-speaking charts.
At the age of 26, Thomas abandoned his career as a rock musician and dedicated himself to further studies in composition and instrumentation. This period formed the foundation for many chamber works, Lieder, two symphonies, Concerti, an Oratorio and music-plays.
He received scholarships and commissions from the towns of Zurich and Bern, Swiss Federal Office for Culture, European Union, Opera of Zurich, Open Opera St. Gallen, Espace Nuithonie Fribourg, Murten Classics, Gaia Festival Thun, Connaissez-vous Basel, Mozart Festival Trento, Salerno Pianofestival, University of Houston, Carnegie Hall NY, and many others.
The music of Thomas Fortmann does not subscribe to any particular school of thought. He studied the various composition techniques, but maintained a critical point of view towards them. This led to the development of a notably personal style, often uniting different, sometimes even contrary impulses of the modern. Formalistic concepts seem to serve him mainly as a tool and play-ground, resulting in very original ideas. It is, however, always important to him, despite the frequent use of complex structures, to directly communicate with the listener and make an emotional impact.
In the mid -80s Thomas and his family moved to Tuscany where he founded the Accademia Amiata and its Festival Toscana delle Culture. In 2016, he founded CLAZZInternational Music Festival.