Augusta Read Thomas (born in 1964 in New York) is a Professor on the composition faculty at Northwestern University, and is on the Board of Directors of the American Music Center. She previously taught at the Eastman School of Music, and she is currently Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (through May 2006). At the age of 33, she received tenure from the Eastman School. Her work is currently published by G. Schirmer Inc., with whom she has recently signed. She studied at Northwestern University, Yale University and at the Royal Academy of Music. Seven years after graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, she was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM, honorary degree). In 1998 she received the Distinguished Alumni Association Award from St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. In 1999, she received the Award of Merit from the President of Northwestern University.

Conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Hans Vonk, Gerard Schwarz, Dennis Russell Davies, Donald Hunsberger, Hugh Wolff, Cliff Colnot, Norman Scribner, John Nelson, Apo Hsu, Jahja Ling, Keith Lockhart, Lawrence Leighton Smith, George Manahan, Jac Van Steen, Gianpiero Taverna, David Gilbert, Bradley Lubman, and Grant Llewellyn have programmed her work.

Ms. Thomas' chamber-opera Ligeia, (Librettist: Leslie Dunton-Downer, based on a short story by Poe) won the prestigious International Orpheus Prize (for which Luciano Berio was president of the jury) and was performed in Spoleto, Italy, with Luca Ronconi directing. Ligeia, commissioned by Mstislav Rostropovich and Rencontres Musicales d'Evian, was premiered by Maestro Rostropovich in the 1994 Evian Festival. The American Premiere took place at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado, in July of 1995. Leslie Dunton-Downer and Augusta Thomas are continuing their work on a new opera entitled Dreams in the Cave of Eros.
Augusta Read Thomas studied with Jacob Druckman at Yale University, and with Alan Stout and Bill Karlins at Northwestern University.


Club Oberon in Harvard Square | June 7, 2010
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | May 21, 2004
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | May 9, 1998

News and Press

[Concert Review] Concert Review: Matt Haimovitz and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project at the ICA

On Sunday, the Ditson Festival of Contemporary Music’s last pair of concerts at the ICA began with two people and finished with over sixty, in a glass box on the harbor. The former were Matt Haimovitz, on cello, and Geoff Burleson, on (and in) piano. Children standing on the postmodern boardwalk outside pressed their faces against the window as Burleson hit keys with one hand and reached in with the other to pluck at the piano’s viscera, as Augusta Read Thomas’s Cantos for Slava (2008) required.

Bostonist Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP soars through graceful season finale

“A dazzling world premiere by Evan Ziporyn and the appearance of not one but two celebrated guest soloists distinguished the final concert of this year’s Boston Modern Orchestra Project season at Jordan Hall on Friday.

Renowned “new music” pianist Ursula Oppens applied her unfailingly insightful curiosity and sublime graciousness of touch to Augusta Read Thomas’s 2000 intermittently appealing Aurora. And master clarinetist Richard Stoltzman’s playing impressed as usual in Stephen Hartke’s 2001 Clarinet Concerto....

The Boston Globe Full review