July 17, 2017: Daniel Asia, The Huffington Post
Music I (Mostly) Hold Dear: The Music of Augusta Read Thomas
"This is music that is always in motion, as if coming perpetually out of a magician’s hat. It leads but doesn’t direct, and is playful and subtle, dancing on light feet. It is music that conjures."
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May 10, 2017: Opera Commission
Augusta Read Thomas has been commissioned by a consortium of opera companies, led by Santa Fe Opera in association with San Francisco opera, that includes:
• Lyric Opera Of Kansas City • Minnesota Opera • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis •San Francisco Opera • Santa Fe Opera • Sarasota Opera • Seattle Opera
Her new opera will receive its world premiere in 2019 at the Santa Fe Opera and will be in collaboration with librettist Jason Kim.
This project is made possible by generous funding from the Melville Hankins Family Foundation and The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
March 20, 2017: Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone
"What this gave to Thomas’s music from the outset was its clarity of conception and precision of gesture (whether in the briefest of instrumental miniatures or in large-scale orchestral works), which act as the focus for her often intricate textures and iridescent harmonies – thereby ensuring that her work exudes an immediacy and a communicativeness whatever its degree of complexity and dissonance."
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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.
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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'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 1, 2016: 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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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
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 insterview
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.
Boston Symphony Orchestra interview
An interview with composer Augusta Read Thomas. Her new ballet, "Helios Choros II (Sun God Dancers)" is performed at Symphony Hall, October 15-20, led by Former BSO assistant conductor Ludovic Morlot.
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American Music Center's NewMusicBox interview
Augusta Read Thomas discusses methods of composition and score writing.
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Augusta Read Thomas on the cover of NewMusicBox
Augusta Read Thomas graces the cover of American Music Center's web magazine, NewMusicBox. The article, entitled "Perfect Clarity," features an interview with the composer and Molly Sheridan at the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
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2010-2011 Fulbright Professorship Augusta held the Fulbright professorship: McIlroy Family Visiting Professorship in the Performing and Visual Arts at the University of Arkansas' J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
Alexander Beilinson, UChicagoNews
Composer Augusta Read Thomas appointed University Professor
"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."
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Christopher Lyons, OPENSOURCE
New Music at Tanglewood: Beauty’s Turn
"Our conversation mid-Festival is with its director, Augusta Read Thomas, and three among the younger artists strutting their stuff at Tanglewood. I am wondering with them: what is it about our times that their composing reflects?"
listen to the Podcast
New York Philharmonic signs contract with New World Records; Gathering Paradise included on first CD
Augusta Read Thomas's Gathering Paradise, for soprano and orchestra to texts by Emily Dickinson, will appear on the New York Philharmonic's upcoming CD. The New York Philharmonic, who commissioned and premiered the work, has just signed a contract with New World Records with an agreement to release two recordings annually. The first CD, containing Gathering Paradise, has a release date of May 2006.
Heidi Grant Murphy, who presented the premiere performances in September 2004, is the soprano on this recording. Lorin Maazel conducts. Other works on the recording include Stephen Hartke's Symphony No. 3 and Jacob Druckman's Summer Lightning.
NEW GUITAR DUET: Memory: SWELLS
NEW GUITAR DUET: Memory: SWELLS
The Newman & Oltman Guitar Due will present the world premiere of Memory: SWELLS on Saturday, May 28, 2005 during a concert of the Raritan River Music Festival in Clinton, New Jersey. Memory: SWELLS was commissioned by Raritan River Music's New Music Commissioning Program, with generous support from The Augustine Foundation. For more information visit the websites:
Raritan River Music
The Newman & Oltman Guitar
Credences of Summer World Premiere Credences of Summer for orchestra will be premiered by the San Diego Orchestra, Jahja Ling conducting, on May 20, 2005.
Miller Theater Portrait Series Concert and Discussion On April 7, 2005, Augusta Read Thomas will give a preconcert discussion at New York's Miller Theater. The discussion will be followed by the New York premieres of Thomas's Silver Chants the Litanies, In My Sky at Twilight, and Spirit Musings, and the world premiere of a new (as yet untitled) work, as part of the Miller Theater's Composer Portrait Series. Alan Pierson will conduct the Alarm Will Sound ensemble.
DePauw University to Host Residency and World Premiere of Sun Songs Augusta Read Thomas will be in residency at DePauw University from March 1-6, 2005. In connection with the residency, several concerts will be presented, including the world premiere of Thomas's Sun Songs for mezzo and three percussionists.
Prairie Sketches I: Diamonds on Orchid Velvet World Premiere Prairie Sketches I: Diamonds on Orchid Velvet for soprano and ensemble will be premiered by the Callisto Ensemble, Cliff Colnot conducting, Tony Arnold, soprano, on January 9, 2005.
Boulez birthday concert commission to premiere in France Grace Notes (for orchestra), for the Pierre Boulez birthday concert, will premiere on January 5, 2005 with Markus Stenz conducting The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. The work was commissioned by Festival Présences with The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Purple Syllables World Premiere Purple Syllables for chorus, commissioned by Music Accord Inc. for Chanticleer, and set to texts of Emily Dickinson, will be premiered by Chanticleer throughout the 2005 season. World premiere date is to be announced.
World Premiere of Dancing Galaxy for Band Augusta Read Thomas's new work for band, Dancing Galaxy, will be premiered by the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, conducted by Frank Battisti, on November 11, 2004. The following week Dancing Galaxy will be performed and recorded by the Southern Methodist University Meadows Wind Ensemble, conducted by Jack Delaney.
New York Philharmonic World Premiere of Gathering Paradise Gathering Paradise for soprano and orchestra will have its world premiere at Lincoln Center with Lorin Maazel conducting the New York Philharmonic, on September 29, 30, and October 1, 2, and 5, 2004.
Augusta Read Thomas teaches at Tanglewood Augusta Read Thomas will spend the summer of 2004 teaching composition and contemporary music at the Tanglewood Music Center (TMC), where TMC resident faculty, along with distinguished guest faculty composers, lead lectures and provide individual mentoring for TMC Composition Fellows.
Augusta Read Thomas continues residency with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Augusta Read Thomas recently renewed her agreement as composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra through 2006: and it recently became the first composer in residence position in the US to have an endowed chair. Ms. Thomas has been Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1997.
Chicago presents world premiere of Tangle Tangle (for orchestra) had its world premiere with David Robertson conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on March 18, 2004.
World premiere of Silver Chants the Litanies, in memorium Luciano Berio Silver Chants the Litanies, in memorium Luciano Berio (for solo horn and chamber orchestra), commissioned by Southern Methodist University, received its world premiere on February 20, 2004 with Jack Delaney conducting.
Pulsar premiered in February Pulsar, for solo violin, had its American premiere by violinist Movses Pogossian in Buffalo, NY on Feb 10, 2004.
World premiere of Bubble: Rainbow (spirit level) Lucy Shelton, soprano, and the Ensemble Sospeso with Rand Steiger conducting, presented the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas's new work, Bubble: Rainbow (spirit level) (for soprano and ensemble), at the Gala 95th Birthday concert in honor of Elliott Carter in New York, on January 30, 2004. Tony Arnold and the Callisto Ensemble, Cliff Colnot conducting, also performed the work in Chicago, Illinois, in January 2004.
Augusta Read Thomas premieres Trombone Concerto with Los Angeles Philharmonic The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, premiered Augusta Read Thomas's trombone concerto, Canticle Weaving, on March 31, 2003. Ralph Sauer was the soloist. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed commented, "In Canticle Weaving...the trombone maintains a noble bearing but is not afraid to swing....I heard in the solo line the commanding voice of an uncommon leader astute, steadfast, courtly and a good dancer. Kofi Annan came to mind."
Joseph McLellan, Washington Post February 26, 2000
Scribner's Ringing Endorsement
Bells were ringing last night in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The Choral Arts Society, Norman Scribner conducting, gave a program that began with "wild bells," concluded with funeral bells and included sleigh bells, wedding bells and (most spectacularly) fire-alarm bells in between.
The program opened with the world premiere of the brilliantly imaginative, rich-textured "Ring out, wild bells to the wild sky" of Augusta Read Thomas, a setting of selected texts by Alfred Lord Tennyson, notably "In Memoriam" and "Crossing the Bar." It began, appropriately, with prolonged bell sounds, not only on metallic percussion but also in the choral voices that held the first syllable, "Ring," with a bell-like resonance.
Whether or not Thomas took some of her inspiration from Rachmaninoff's "The Bells," which concluded the program, there were resemblances. Both composers gave particular attention to sound textures, using brilliant orchestration and choral fireworks. Both went in for maximum contrast and both end with a sort of elegy after moments of wild exhilaration. Both also gave soprano Carmen Pelton rich opportunities to display her clear, silver-bright soprano tone.
Thomas's work seems destined for a busy future with choruses that, like the Choral Arts Society, can depend on virtuoso technique and strong emotional expression. Rachmaninoff's setting of Edgar Allan Poe's classic poem (in Russian translation) shows what he could do when not writing for the piano. Its third movement, a vocal tone poem about fire, had enormous impact. Between these two extroverted display pieces, the chorus sang Benjamin Britten's tenderly moralistic "Cantata Misericordium," a treatment of the story of the good Samaritan with a sometimes very dramatic Latin text. Tenor Anthony Dean Griffey and baritone Christopher Robertson sang expertly in this and the Rachmaninoff.
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Augusta Read Thomas signs with G. Schirmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 27 November 2000
G. Schirmer, Inc. announces the signing of Augusta Read Thomas to an exclusive five-year composer contract, in which the company will represent the music formerly in Thomas's own company ART Musings, as well as her future compositions.
"We are thrilled to welcome Augusta Read Thomas to G. Schirmer and the affiliated companies of the Music Sales Group worldwide," states vice president Susan Feder. "A tremendously gifted composer, Thomas has had a meteoric rise to success on an international level and has been championed by musicians as diverse as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Mariss Jansons, Seiji Ozawa, Mstislav Rostropovich, John Nelson, Christian Lindberg, David Finckel, Chanticleer, and the Avalon Quartet. Her music has also frequently been heard at the Aspen Music Festival, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony, where she is composer-in-residence." Feder continues, "Thomas's music is at once intelligent and intense, urgent and impassioned, structurally complex and immediately accessible. With seemingly limitless energy, she is also a dedicated teacher at the Eastman School and a passionate advocate for new music through her position in Chicago. We hope to give Augusta more time to compose, and we look forward to working closely with her to further her career and disseminate her music to the widest possible audience of performers and listeners."
Thomas comments, "For years I have admired G. Schirmer's dedication to the music of our time. It is a privilege to join this distinguished company, which represents many wonderful composers. I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with G. Schirmer."
In the past 12 months alone, Thomas has had six major premieres: Aurora: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, co-commissioned and premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony (with Daniel Barenboim as soloist); Invocations, performed by the Miami String Quartet at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; Fugitive Star, performed by the Avalon String Quartet at the Caramoor Festival; Ring Out Wild Bells to the Wild Sky (with texts by Tennyson) for the Washington Choral Arts Society at the Kennedy Center; Song in Sorrow for soprano, chorus and orchestra commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra, and the orchestral work Ceremonial for the Chicago Symphony, led by Barenboim. A fervent champion of her music, Barenboim adds, "I consider Augusta Read Thomas one of the most talented composers today, and I feel privileged to have premiered several of her works both as soloist and conductor. I'm confident that wonderful things will grow out of this relationship between Augusta and G. Schirmer." Thomas's upcoming premieres include a work for Mariss Jansons and the Pittsburgh Symphony, to be presented in May, and Daylight Divine for soprano, children's chorus and orchestra commissioned by John Nelson and Soli Deo Gloria, which will be premiered at the Festival Saint Denise in Paris in June. She will also write a new work for Germany's NDR Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach for a premiere in November 2002.
Thomas began her musical career with studies at Northwestern University, Yale University, and at the Royal Academy of Music. She has received prizes from ASCAP and BMI; the NEA; the Naumburg, Fromm, Guggenheim, and Koussevitzky Foundations, and was awarded this year's Siemens Foundation Prize in Munich. Previous works include: the choral work Love Songs, commissioned by Chanticleer whose Teldec CD (TELC# 24570) received a 2000 Grammy Award; the concerto Vigil, for cellist Norman Fischer and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony; and the Chicago Symphony's commissioned works Concerto for Orchestra ‹ Orbital Beacons and Words of the Sea.
G. Schirmer is one the oldest publishing houses in America, having been founded in 1861. Having acquired Associated Music Publishers in 1964, today G. Schirmer counts among its roster of living composers such elder statesmen as Elliott Carter, Karel Husa, Leon Kirchner, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Gunther Schuller; contemporary leaders like John Adams, John Corigliano, John Harbison, Peter Lieberson, André Previn, and Joan Tower; as well as younger figures such as Richard Danielpour, Anthony Davis, Aaron Jay Kernis, Bright Sheng, and Tan Dun. G. Schirmer is also the home of such legendary names as George Antheil, Samuel Barber, Henry Cowell, Duke Ellington, Morton Gould, Charles Ives, Arnold Schoenberg, William Schuman, and Virgil Thomson. The company publishes nearly one-third of the Pulitzer Laureates who include: Stephen Albert, Samuel Barber, Elliott Carter, Morton Gould, John Harbison, Karel Husa, Leon Kirchner, Gian Carlo Menotti, Walter Piston, Mel Powell, Gunther Schuller, William Schuman, and Virgil Thomson.