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Featured News

January 18, 2017: Augusta Read Thomas is nominated for the 36th Annual Chicago Music Awards Augusta Read Thomas has been nominated for the upcoming 36th Annual Chicago Music Awards (CMA) in the category, BEST CLASSICAL ENTERTAINER. This special milestone will be held on Saturday March 18th, 2017 at the Stephen M. Bailey Auditorium, 1340 West Washington Blvd. Chicago, Illinois 60607. Visit chicagomusicawards.org or facebook.com/chicagomusicawards to vote, get early tickets and more.

December 27, 2016: John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune Augusta Read Thomas named Chicagoan of the Year
“No one else in local classical music came close to matching, let alone surpassing, what Thomas achieved with Ear Taxi… Thomas created the kind of forum for conversations across many genres Chicago had never heard before,” the Tribune article states.
“Whether it's as composer, organizer or inspiring community presence, she stands to be a vital force in the teeming landscape of Chicago new music for years to come.”
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November 30, 2016: Augusta Read Thomas is one of the 5 finalists of the 8th International Henri Dutilleux Composition Contest Augusta Read Thomas’ BASS CLARINET CONCERTINO for soloist and 9 musicians is one of the 5 finalists (out of 353 composers who submitted 438 compositions and who represented 50 nationalities) for the 8th Dutilleux Contest Celebrating the Centennial Year of Henri Dutilleux’s birth. All submissions were anonymous.
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Ear Taxi Festival leader and composer Augusta Read Thomas in her downtown condo, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)

October 4, 2016: John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune Mega-festival of new music celebrates living Chicago composers, performers
"Only Chicago has Augusta Read Thomas”
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September 8, 2016: John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune Augusta Read Thomas, contemporary classical catalyst
"A passionate sense of purpose informs everything the Grammy-winning Chicago composer Augusta Read Thomas does in music. It is central to her organizing, directing and co-curating the Ear Taxi Festival, by far the largest festival of contemporary classical music in the city's history."
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Augusta Read Thomas with Princess of Hanover

H.S.H. the Prince Albert II honors Augusta with the Cultural Medal of Monaco The Sovereign Prince of Monaco awarded Augusta CHEVALIER of the Order of Cultural Merit. The insignia of this distinction was given by S.A.R. Princess of Hanover at the Prince's Palace on 18 November 2015.

'Of Being is a Bird' CD awarded BBC Music Magazine 'Chamber Choice' Augusta's latest recording released on the Nimbus Alliance label, the sixth volume in the series, has been met with a raft of positive reviews. In the July issue of BBC Music Magazine, it received the 'Chamber Choice' award with Anthony Burton awarding the recording five stars writing: 'Claire Booth and Aurora capture the poetry and liveliness of the Dickinson settings [Of Being is a Bird], the Parker Quartet are impressively assured in Helix Spirals, and Third Coast Percussion and the Spektral Quartet interlick with exhilarating precision in Selene.'
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April 11, 2015: WFMT Composer Spotlight: Augusta Read Thomas interview with Augusta Read Thomas on WFMT (Chicago). The hour-long program features Seth Boustead interviewing the composer, as well as excerpts from several of her compositions.
Listen to the interview

Recording of Thomas's Orchestral Works Nominated for Gramophone Award Augusta Read Thomas - Orchestral Works (Nimbus Alliance NI6258) has been nominated as one of six finalists in the Gramophone Classical Music Awards for 2014. The recording contains her works Aureole, Words of the Sea, In My Sky at Twilight, Carillon Sky, Terpsichore's Dream, and Silver Chants the Litanies, performed by various ensembles including the Chicago Symphony orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez and Oliver Knussen, Southern Methodist University Wind Ensemble, and DePaul University Symphony.
More info about Augusta Read Thomas - Orchestral Works (Nimbus Alliance NI6258)

New Releases

CD Augusta Read Thomas - Of Being Is A Bird will be available April 1, 2016 The new Nimbus Records release, Augusta Read Thomas - OF BEING IS A BIRD (Nimbus Alliance NI 6323), is the sixth in a series presenting the music of the eminent American composer Augusta Read Thomas. CD now available for preorder! Official Release on April 1, 2016.
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The release of a commercial CD of EOS: Goddess of the Dawn (A Ballet for Orchestra) EOS: Goddess of the Dawn (A Ballet for Orchestra), in honor of Pierre Boulez, commissioned and premiered by the Utah Symphony, Thierry Fischer conducting. CD now available for preorder! Official Release on April 1, 2016.
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Learn more about EOS: Goddess of the Dawn

Recent Awards & Honors

Augusta Read Thomas wins Lancaster Symphony Orchestra's Composer Award Augusta Read Thomas won the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra's Composer Award for 2015-16. This is the oldest award of its kind in the nation, intended "to recognize and honor living composers who reside in the US who are making a particularly significant contribution in the field of symphonic music, not only through their own creative efforts, but also as effective personal advocates of new approaches to the broadening of critical and appreciative standards." Former winners include Howard Hanson, William Schuman, Walter Piston, Morton Gould, Ned Rorem, David Del Tredici, John Corigliano, Joan Tower, and others.


Augusta Read Thomas and Hillary Clinton were awarded The Order of Lincoln from The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and the Governor of Illinois on 3 May 2014 (with Bernard Rands).

Lincoln Academy of Illinois Awards Order of Lincoln to Augusta Read Thomas Augusta Read Thomas received the 2014 Order of Lincoln Award from The Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the State's highest honor for professional achievement and public service, in March. Governor Pat Quinn presented the Award to Thomas, as well as to her fellow recipients Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernard Rands.

selected Press Quotes

"Thomas' music, particularly her orchestral music, fairly explodes with an extroverted boldness of utterance audiences and musicians alike find challenging yet immediate. It's music that doesn't sound like anybody else's — music that insists you pay attention."
— Chicago Tribune (John von Rhein)

"Ms. Thomas has vivid ear for instrumental color."
— The New York Times (Anthony Tommasini)

"Thomas, a prodigious talent, is the most accessible ambassador of the new modernism, and the piece, a fierce and jagged take on the love poetry of Sappho, Neruda, and Flaubert, among others, shines with passion and color."
— The New Yorker Magazine (Russell Platt)

"Thomas' piece...was about 11 minutes of boldly considered music that celebrated the sound of the instruments and seemed to reaffirm the vitality of orchestral music in general."
— The Philadelphia Inquirer (Daniel Webster)

"This young composer...already has amassed many honors, commissions and hearings by major orchestras. It is not difficult to understand why. Her music...is evocative and shows a well-developed feeling for, and a mastery of, orchestral colors."
— Dallas Morning News (John Ardoin)