Monday, March 14, 2011

March: Composer Augusta Read Thomas

"Augusta Read Thomas's impressive body of works embodies unbridled passion and fierce poetry. Championed by such luminaries as Barenboim, Rostropovich, Boulez, and Knussen, she rose early to the top of her profession. Later, as an influential teacher at Eastman, Northwestern and Tanglewood, chairperson of the American Music Center, and the Chicago Symphony's longest-serving resident composer, she has become one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American Music."
Augusta Read Thomas is one of the most outstanding younger generation American composers. Augusta has had her work conducted by everyone from Boulez to Barenboim to Knussen and was Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 1997-2006. She was the Wyatt Professor of Music at Northwestern University and in 2005, was the Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Music Center. Her work is published exclusively by G. Schirmer.
Thomas has been appointed as University Professor of Composition in the Department of Music and the College at the University of Chicago. University Professors are selected for internationally recognized eminence in their fields as well as for their potential for high impact across the University. Thomas will become the 16th person ever to hold a University Professorship, and the fifth currently at the University. Thomas is widely considered to be among the world's most accomplished and original contemporary composers. She has won acclaim for the dramatic, spontaneous quality of her work and her masterful use of instrumental color. Her extensive body of work has won praise from conductors, performers and music critics worldwide.
Clare and Thomas
Augusta will be in residence at Trinity University, sponsored by the Stieren Arts Enrichment Series. Her residency will include meetings with student composers and a lecture and performance (by the Walden Chamber Players) of her music on Friday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall. The closing concert by the Walden Chamber Players will feature some of her music as well as works by Turina and Brahms on Sunday, March 27 at 3 p.m., also in the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall.
Host John Clare spoke with Thomas in early 2010 as she prepared a new work for the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Listen to their conversation here. [mp3 file]
You might also enjoy her talk filmed by the Boston Symphony:

You might also want to hear some of Gusty's incredible music, played here by Rachel Barton Pine:

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