Thomas, Augusta Read

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Thomas, Augusta Read

Thomas, Augusta Read, American composer; b. Glen Grove, N.Y., April 24, 1964. She was a student of Karlins and Stout at Northwestern Univ. (1983-87) and of Druckman at Yale Univ. (M.M., 1988) before completing postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1988-89). She received numerous awards and honors, among them ASCAP prizes (1987-91), NEA fellowships (1988, 1992), a Guggenheim fellowship (1989), the International Orpheus Prize for Opera of Spoleto, Italy (1994), the Charles Ives Fellowship (1994), and the Siemens Foundation Prize (2000). In addition to composing, she taught at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. In 1994 she married Bernard Rands. From 1997 to 2000 she served as composer-in-residence of the Chicago Sym. Orch.


dramatic: Ligeia, chamber opera (1991-94; Evian, May 19, 1994); Conquering the Fury of Oblivion, theatrical oratorio (1994-95); Passions, ballet (1997; St. Paul, Oct. 2, 1998). ORCH.: Glow in the Light of Darkness for Chamber Orch. (1983); Tunnel at the End of Light for Piano and Orch. (1984); Sonnet from the Daybreak Moon (1986); Moon and Light for Trumpet and Orch. (1987); Under the Sun (1987); Glass Moon (1988; Philadelphia, Dec. 14, 1990); Sunset of Empire (1988); Crystal Planet (1989); …to the light unseen… for Flute and Strings (1989); Wind Dance (1989; N.Y., July 27, 1990); Haiku for Violin, Cello, and Chamber Orch. (1990; N.Y., April 28, 1991); Vigil for’ Cello and Chamber Orch. (Cleveland, Nov. 4, 1990); Overture Concertante (1990); Air and Angels (Washington, D.C, Sept. 10, 1992); Cathedral Summer for Violin and Orch. (1992); Sinfonia Concertante for Soprano Saxophone and Orch. (1992); Ancient Chimes (1993); Night’s Midsummer Blaze, triple concerto for Flute, Viola, Harp, and Orch. (Louisville, Nov. 18, 1993); Fantasy for Piano and Chamber Orch. (1993-94); Echo Echo for Trombone Quartet and Chamber Orch. (1994-95); Meditation for Trombone and Chamber Orch. (1995); Words of the Sea (1995-96; Chicago, Dec. 12, 1996); Eclipse Musings for Flute, Guitar, and Chamber Orch. (1996); Spirit Musings for Violin and Chamber Orch. (1997); Enchanted Orbits for Flute and Chamber Orch. (1997); Chanson for Cello and Chamber Orch. (1997); Brass Axis for Saxophone Quartet and Orch. (1997; N.Y., Jan. 11, 1998); Concertino for Orchestra (1997-98; Rochester, May 21, 1998); Orbital Beacons (Chicago, Nov. 27, 1998); Ritual Incantations for Cello and Chamber Orch. (1998; Aspen, July 16, 1999); Ceremonial (1999; Chicago, Jan. 6, 2000); Aurora, piano concerto (1999-2000). CHAMBER: Fantasy on 2 Klee Studies for Cello (1988); Sonata for Solo Trumpet (1989); Karumi for Flute (1990); Chant for Cello and Piano (1990-91); Angel Chant for Piano Trio (1991; rev. 1994); Nocturne for String Quartet and Mezzo-soprano (1993-94); Spring Song for Cello (1995); Incantation for Violin (1995); Manifesto for 12 Brasses and Timpani (1995); Fire Song for Soprano Saxophone and Sympathetically Vibrating Instrument (1997); Invocations for String Quartet (1999); Passion Prayers for Cello and 6 Instruments (1999); Angel Musings for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano (1999). Piano: Whites (1988). VOCAL: Ring Out Wild Bells to the Wild Sky for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1999-2000; Washington, D.C, Feb. 15, 2000); Silver Litanies for 6 Women’s Voices, 3 Clarinets, Vibraphone, and String Quartet (2000)..

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire