A native of Detroit, Michigan, Thomas Coote received his education at Oberlin College, the Mannes College of Music, and Queens College of the City University of New York, studying piano with Leon Bates, Edward Aldwell and Morey Ritt, chamber music with Ani Kavafian and theory with Carl Schachter, and graduating with bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance. Additional studies took place at the International Festival Institute at Round Top with pianist James Dick, where he was selected to perform the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Houston Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and at the Caumsett Summer Chamber Music Festival, with violinist Ruth Waterman and Metropolitan Opera cellist Jerry Grossman.
Tom joined the Brooklyn Music School piano faculty in 1979, where he currently serves as department chair, and in 1994 joined with voice faculty colleague Alburtt Rhodes to found the Brooklyn Music School Summer Opera Workshop, where he performed as pianist and harpsichordist in full productions of Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan Tutte, La Traviata, Giulio Cesare and La Cenerentola. Currently Tom works as accompanist and vocal coach with Brooklyn Music School's Summer Vocal Arts program, performing on both piano and harpsichord.
In 1994 Tom helped found the Nietzsche Music Project and was privileged to take part in one of the first commercial recordings of the music of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as a second recording, currently available on CD Baby.com. With the Nietzsche Music Project he has performed in concerts at universities throughout the U.S. and Europe, most recently at Emory University, Atlanta.
Tom has appeared frequently throughout the New York area as recitalist and vocal accompanist, In addition to his work at Brooklyn Music School, Tom serves as choral accompanist and piano instructor at the United Nations International School, and as organist and music director of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Williamsburg.