Thow, John H(olland)

views updated

Thow, John H(olland)

Thow, John H(olland), American composer; b. Los Angeles, Oct. 6, 1949. He studied composition with Adolph Weiss while in high school, and later at the Univ. of Southern Calif, with Anthony Vazzana and Ramiro Cortes (B.Mus., 1971) and at Harvard Univ. with Leon Kirchner and Oliver Strunk (Ph.D., 1977). He also studied with Luciano Berio on a Fulbright fellowship in Rome (1973-74) and with Franco Donatoni at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena (1973-74), and later again in Rome with Berio upon receipt of a Rome Prize Fellowship (1977-78). He was an asst. prof, at Boston Univ. (1978-80), and in 1981 joined the faculty of the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley as an asst. prof., becoming an assoc. prof, in 1986 and a full prof, in 1990. serving as dept. head and as director of the Berkeley Contemporary Music Players. Thow’s works are cast in a variety of genres in an eclectic post-tonal style. He often incorporates quoted or paraphrased music from sources as diverse as plain chant, Native American music, and European music of the 19th century. He received a Guggenheim fellowship (1986–87) and both the God-dard Lieberson Fellowship (1983) and the Academy Award in Music Composition (1994) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also residencies at both the Yaddo (1976, 1980) and Djerassi (1986, 1987) Foundations.


dramatic: Opera: Serpentina for 8 Soloists, Chorus, and Chamber Orch., after E.T.A . Hoffmann (1998-99). ORCH .: Trigon (1974); Astraeus (1975); Canto del Quetzal for Chamber Orch. (1978); Resonance (1986); Into the Twilight (1988); Trombone Concerto (1990; rev. 1993); Lene Tawi (Hope Rain Song) for Chamber Orch. (1996). CHAMBER: Divergences for Flute, Clarinet, Viola, and Cello (1974); Phoenix Music for Flute, 9 Strings, Piano, and Percussion (1981); All Hallows for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (1982); Live Oak for 10 Players (1983); Rounds for Percussion Quartet (1986); Madrone for 14 Players (1987); Trilce for Flute/Piccolo, Oboe/English Horn, Cello, and Piano (1991); Breath of the Sun for 3 Flutes and Alto Flute (1993); Sextet for Flute/Piccolo, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano (1993); Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1995); The Wood is Singing for 4 Cellos (1995); To Invoke the Clouds for Baroque (transverse) Flute (solo or duo) or Modern Flute (solo or duo), with or without Interactive Electronics (1995); Musica d’amore for Oboe d’amore, Viola d’amore, and Harp (1996); Al Cabrero for Guitar (1997); A Return to Roslin Castle for 8-key Flute and Guitar (1997); Chumash Songs (Kapumi Xucu) for Violin, Clarinet, Piano, and Percussion (2000). Piano: Three Elements for 2 Pianos (1986); Remembering Op. 109 (1994). VOCAL: Chorus: Night for Women’s Chorus and Strings (1975); Cantico for Soloists, Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (1997-98). Solo Voice with Instrumentes): Siempre for Soprano and Orch., after Pablo Neruda (1978); Seven Charms for a New Day for Soprano and Piano (1982); When You Were Born for Soprano, Flute, Cello, and Harp (1987); A Water Cycle for Baritone and Chamber Ensemble (1991); Songs for the Earth for Mezzo-soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (1994).

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire