Featured News

World Premiere of TERPSICHORE’S BOX OF DREAMSThe Grossman Ensemble premieres " utterly delightful new work by Augusta Read Thomas, the guiding light at the CCCC. “Terpsichore’s Box of Dreams” honors the goddess of dance and delight with a series of seven short dances plus an introduction (“Terpsichore Enters”) and conclusion (“Terpsichore Departs”)." (Hyde Park Herald) The new work for 13-member ensemble was performed on May 19 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts in Chicago. Third Coast Review says the work "showcases Thomas’ penchant for finding interesting musical motifs and rhythmic phrases that she manipulates in all kinds of ways."
Read the article (Hyde Park Herald)
Read the article (Third Coast Review)

World Premiere of TOWARD A SECRET SKY, setting texts by Rūmī"The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra jubilantly premiered Augusta Read Thomas’ Toward a Secret Sky, resonating hopefulness at a time of escalating crisis on personal and community levels worldwide…[the piece] is sonically rapturous, emotionally ecstatic…LOVE in all its manifestations dances its way through some forty minutes, defining the rainbow—a promise from the Divine to mortals, who continue to cling to hope as the raft in times of trial.” (Rita Kohn, NUVO)
Read the article (Rita Kohn, NUVO)
Read the article (Jay Harvey Upstage)

Nimbus Records New CD Release: DANCE FOLDINGS for orchestra released on July 7, 2023 Recorded by BBC National Orchestra of Wales with conductor Vimbayi Kaziboni, the musical materials of DANCE FOLDINGS for orchestra take as their starting point the metaphors, pairings, counterpoints, foldings, forms, and images inspired by the biological "ballet" of proteins being assembled and folded in our bodies.
Read full program notes

Feature Article in Great Lakes By Design Magazine Text: R.J. Weick
To capture the essence of Augusta Read Thomas’ extensive body of musical work is as nuanced and colorful of an endeavor as the creative and technical process behind its composition.
Read the full article

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays Augusta Read ThomasClarissa Bevilacqua steps into the limelight in her debut album, as a musician of quite spectacular musicality, technical mastery and artistic vision.” -Paul Pellay. "Caprice is a wider-ranging, more free-wheeling work, but it is informed by a similar level of intensity as it reaches its climactic conclusion."
Stream and download
Augusta Read Thomas: RUSH
Augusta Read Thomas: CAPRICE
Augusta Read Thomas: INCANTATION

World Premiere of FOREST OF SHIFTING TIMEWorld Premiere of FOREST OF SHIFTING TIME (NOVEMBER 2 & 3, 2022) a ballet at Trinity Commons, 76 Trinity Place, New York, NY. Choreographed and directed by BalletCollective Artistic Director Troy Schumacher and set to a vibrant 31-minute score for the Detroit-based Akropolis Reed Quintet, the ballet features whimsical costumes and props by artist and designer Doug Fitch and lighting by Ben Rawson. Featuring dancers trained in a multitude of methodologies, including dancers from New York City Ballet and alumni of The Ailey School and The Juilliard School: Graham Feeny, Jada German, Megan LeCrone, Zoe Liebold, Shelby Mann, Ava Sautter, Maxwell Simoes, and Haley Winegarden. BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Two explorers enter an unknown place with no way out but forward, and find themselves among shifting trees, dancing dinosaurs, playful insects, and more.

Talking the Walk: A Profile of Composer Augusta Read ThomasPulitzer-finalist composer and University of Chicago professor spoke eloquently about her craft and the myriad decisions that go into creating the vibrant, deeply hued works that have made her one of the most frequently performed living composers in America.
Read the Full Article

Vibrant music, impeccably crafted Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe, January 14, 2022
“Dance Foldings,” 13 minutes in length, comes and goes like a single burst of light. It is complex and richly layered yet transparently vibrant music, impeccably crafted and full of big band-style syncopations that drive it forward with an irrepressible kinetic energy. Andris Nelsons and the orchestra proved equal to their task, delivering a sharply-etched and altogether compelling account.”

Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review, January 14, 2022
Dance Foldings also bears the imprint of Stravinsky’s early ballets and big band jazz. Indeed, the work’s energy never ceases as the constant pulse frames every intricate rhythm. The effect, Thomas told the audience before the performance, was like watching images of a dance refracted through a prism.

Delightfully abstract and engaging, Dance Foldings stands as Thomas’s finest effort in recent years. Nelsons made a compelling case for the score, leading a performance marked by playful vitality.”

Stellar Reviews: Dance Foldings for orchestra: “BBC NOW seemed to relish playing every moment of it." (2021) Read reviews

Strad Magazine: PREMIERE OF THE MONTH: FORCE OF NATURE (2021) "For American composer Augusta Read Thomas, it is nature that takes centre stage in Upon Wings of Words for soprano and string quartet. ‘Like the butterfly effect, one small nuance at the beginning motivates and influences the rest of the composition,’ she says.."
Read the full article

BBC Music Magazine: “Thomas has an exceptional ear for timbral detail” 5-star review (2020) "The American composer Augusta Read Thomas has an intense voice, with an exceptional ear for timbral detail, clarity and the control of ebb and flow."
Read the full article "Feature Article" (2020) "I’m a poet and not a novelist. I write shorter pieces with every word in place, every dash, every thought, and every line break to use a poetry metaphor, every adjective too."
Read the full article

The New Yorker: “Augusta Read Thomas’s brilliant composition for The Auditions..." (2020) "The musicians also draw out the details in Augusta Read Thomas’s brilliant composition for “The Auditions,” a genuinely intriguing world première by the choreographer Troy Schumacher, in which dancers ascend from sneaker-ballet idiosyncrasy into an aurora borealis of tulle."
Read the full article

TheArtsDesk: Classical CDs Weekly: US Election Special (2020)
"This is witty, inventive and colourful music. It’s fabulous, and unlike anything I’ve heard all year."
Read the full article

The Cross-Eyed Pianist: Feature article (2020)
"I believe music feeds our souls. Humanity has and will always work together to further music’s flexible, diverse capacity and innate power."
Read the full article

ANEARFUL: "Grossman Ensemble - Fountain Of Time" (2020) "This powerhouse chamber ensemble, founded by composer and educator Augusta Read Thomas, has been growing in Chicago for the last few years, already amassing a portfolio of 36 commissioned works. Kudos to Thomas for kicking this thing off and to the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition and the University of Chicago for giving it a home. Thanks to this spectacular album, the Grossman Ensemble is no longer solely the property of the windy city."
Read the full article

Grossman Ensemble. Photo credit: Grittani Creative

VAN: "Sandcastles On The Beach" - An Interview with Augusta Read Thomas (2020) "A renowned composer in her own right, Thomas is remarkable for the proportion of her artistic life that she’s dedicated to supporting her fellow artists. One of her latest endeavors is the Grossman Ensemble, a high-caliber sinfonietta under the aegis of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition."
Read the full article

Photo credit: Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune: “Chicago’s classical scene has Grammy magic, mojo that comes from a group of creative women on the city’s new music scene” (2020) "The unique story of women at the helm on Chicago’s art music scene is a lineage that begins with composer Augusta Read Thomas…"
Read the full article

Global Music Awards The album, "Axiom Brass - First Impressions," was recently named a Silver Medal Winner for Outstanding Achievement by the Global Music Awards. Includes Augusta Read Thomas' Avian Capriccio.
Learn more

Santa Fe Reporter: “A New Kind of Aria” (2019) "It was a night of the unexpected and perhaps the absurd, and all of it combined to create a night of opera as unconventional as it was delightful…"
Read the full article
Learn more about the Opera

Photo by Rob Hart

UChicago News: “Mixing beatboxing with opera, acclaimed composer redefines genre” (2019) "With an abundant imagination for sound and music, Prof. Augusta Read Thomas unfolds fresh sonic perspectives and a personal artistic voice in soaring pieces played around the world—all while shaping the field of classical composition at the University of Chicago."
Read the full article
Learn more about the Opera

Chicago Tribune: “Grossman Ensemble review: New sounds, historic occasion” (2018) "It’s just possible that someday people will look back at what happened Friday night at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center and say: I was there."
Read the full article

Chicago Tribune: “A bold first season for U. of C.’s contemporary music center” (2018) "First seasons don’t get much bigger, smarter or more multi-dimensional than this."
Read the full article

UChicago News: “Big Brains podcast dives into the creative process of renowned UChicago composer” (2018) "‘I want it to be truly itself,’ Thomas said of her music. ‘Because otherwise, what am I doing with my life? I’m working 16 hours a day. Why would I do that and work so hard unless I’m really digging deep and willing to be vulnerable and true?’"
Read the article and listen to the podcast

Strings Magazine: “Enter the limitless sound world of composer Augusta Read Thomas” (2018) "No matter how gloomy you may be feeling about the state of the world, it seems impossible to come away from an encounter with Augusta Read Thomas without a surge of fresh hope."
Read the full article [PDF]

BBC Music Magazine: “Meet the composer: Augusta Read Thomas” (2018) “I like to think of every element of sound being allied to every other element of sound in a kind of gestalt.”
Read the full article

The Huffington Post: “Music I (Mostly) Hold Dear: The Music of Augusta Read Thomas” (2017) "All of her strengths are displayed in a new release by the Utah Symphony that includes her work EOS (Goddess of the Dawn), a Ballet for Orchestra, which is in seven movements all written and played without break. Titles are evocative, starting with Dawn and then tracking the day."
Read the full article

Gramophone: “Contemporary composer: Augusta Read Thomas” (2017) "This composer’s career may have been spent in teaching but her music is hardly staid and academic."
Read the full article

At Santa Fe Opera with Brandon Neal, Andrea Fellows Walters and Ruth Nott

Chicago Tribune: “A symphony of 300 bells at the Chicago Philharmonic, rarities from Third Coast Baroque” (2017) "Although Sonorous Earth draws some of its musical materials and its movement titles from Resounding Earth (a 2012 piece for solo percussion Thomas wrote for the Third Coast group), so greatly has she expanded the concept and structure that it feels like an entirely new work…"
Read the full article

Chicago Tribune: “Chicagoan of the year: Augusta Read Thomas amps up vibrant new-music scene” (2016) “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."
Read the full article

Ear Taxi Festival leader and composer Augusta Read Thomas in her downtown condo, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)

Chicago Tribune: “Mega-festival of new music celebrates living Chicago composers, performers” (2016) "Only Chicago has Augusta Read Thomas”
Read the full article

Chicago Tribune: “Augusta Read Thomas, contemporary classical catalyst” (2016) "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."
Read the full article