Augusta Read Thomas

Augusta Read Thomas

Augusta Read Thomas was born in Glen Cove, New York. She attended The Green Vale School and later moved on to St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, and then studied composition with Jacob Druckman at Yale University and at the Royal Academy of Music with Paul Patterson, as well as with Alan Stout and M. William Karlins at Northwestern University. She taught at the Eastman School of Music and received tenure there at the age of only 33, but left to teach at the Northwestern University School of Music. While still at Eastman, she was appointed Composer in Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a post she retained until 2006, when she was succeeded by Osvaldo Golijov and Mark-Anthony Turnage. In 2006, Thomas resigned from teaching at Northwestern in order to compose exclusively. She is Chair of the Board of the American Music Center, and lives in Chicago and Becket, Massachusetts. On November 8, 2010, the University of Chicago announced that she had been appointed University Professor of Composition in the Department of Music and the College.

Thomas's music avoids traditional models, such as sonata form, and traditional styles, such as folk song. One can hear the influence of jazz as well as that of composers such as Luciano Berioin her use of improvisatory-sounding rhythms and colorful harmonies. An album by Chanticleer including her choral pieces "The Rub of Love" and "Love Songs" won a Grammy. Some of her other works are "Aurora", "Galaxy Dances", "Prayer Bells", "Words of the Sea", "Bells Ring Summer", "Silhouettes", "Purple Syllables", and "Ring Flourish Blaze".

Commission Information

Ritual-An Overture Concertante
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