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Born in the wheat belt of Western Australia, Ronald Thomas began to play the violin at the age of four with lessons from his father. He first appeared in public at the age of 11 and at 17 performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Soon after that he left to study in London and later in Switzerland with Max Rostal.

At 21 he won the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition. Following a critically acclaimed recital at Wigmore Hall in London he was offered concerto engagements with major orchestras in England including the Royal Philharmonic, Birmingham and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras. He also began broadcasting for the BBC and was a concerto soloist at the first night of the BBC Promenade Concerts. While continuing to give recitals and perform concertos throughout the country he was a member of the English Chamber Orchestra. Later as a member, concertmaster and soloist with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, he performed with them for a number of years in concerts, recordings and world tours. He formed his own group the New London Soloists Ensemble which toured the U.S.A. At this time he frequently returned to play with and conduct the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra.

In 1976 he became concertmaster, then Musical Director of the Bournemouth Sinfonietta where he remained for ten years giving some 950 concerts, ( 250 of which he conducted) solo concerts, broadcasts and recordings. In the 1980s he was invited by Sir Gorge Solti to be guest concertmaster for a special Anniversary Series of Concerts by the London Philharmonic Orchestra appearing at the Edinburgh Festival and the Royal Festival Hall in London. At this time he was guest concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra.

He moved to Australia in 1987 to become the Artistic Director of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. While in Australia he formed The Soloists of Australia which appeared at the Perth Festival and made a number of recordings for Chandos Records. He was at this time a guest Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium and the leader of the Sydney String Quartet where he remained for a number of years.

Now living in Perth, Ronald Thomas continues to perform and teach.