Thomas, Adrian 1947-

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Thomas, Adrian 1947-


Born 1947.


Office—Cardiff School of Music, Cardiff University, Corbett Rd., Cardiff CF10 3EB, Wales; fax: 29-208-74379. E-mail—[email protected].


Academic and musicologist. Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, staff member, 1973-85, Hamilton Hardy Professor of Music, 1985-96; Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, professor of music, 1996—, founder-director of the School of Music's Central European Music Research Centre; Gresham College, London, England, chair of music, 2003-06. Visiting lecturer at University of California at San Diego, 1983-84; Macdowell Colony composition fellow, 1983, 1986, and 1987; board member of the British section of the ISCM; fellow, Gresham College, 2006-09.


Order of Merit for Polish Culture, Polish government, 1996.


Grazìyna Bacewicz: Chamber and Orchestral Music, Friends of Polish Music (Los Angeles, CA), 1985.

Gòrecki, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1997.

Polish Music since Szymanowski, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.


Adrian Thomas is an academic and musicologist. He served as the Hamilton Hardy Professor of Music at Queen's University, Belfast, before becoming a professor of music at Cardiff University. There he founded and directed the Central European Music Research Centre. His extensive research on Polish music and musicians led him to receive the Polish government's Order of Merit for Polish Culture in 1996.

Thomas published Polish Music since Szymanowski in 2005. The book covers the musical economy of Polish music from 1937 to the early 2000s. Thomas focuses on key composers who have significantly shaped the direction of Polish music, including Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, Witold Lutoslawski, and Krzysztof Penderecki.

Laura Grazyna Kafka, reviewing the book in Notes, praised the author, noting that "Thomas writes critically from the objective viewpoint of a musicologist and music theorist who is thoroughly and purposefully interested in his subject." Kafka cautioned, however, that "this book assumes fluency in a good bit of technical music terminology." Kafka lamented that "as Thomas' knowledge of his subject is extensive, there are only two items one longs for in this publication: an accompanying recording of available musical examples and more detailed commentaries on specific works." Kafka concluded her review, commenting that "my hope is that this book will further the names of Polish composers and their music. With the emergence of composers like Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, known for his film score to Finding Neverland, Polish composers continue to emerge from obscurity. Hats off to Adrian Thomas for so eloquently contributing to the body of knowledge of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Polish music."



Musical Times, spring, 2006, John Fallas, review of Polish Music since Szymanowski, p. 113.

Music & Letters, May 1, 2006, Alistair Wightman, review of Polish Music since Szymanowski, p. 342.

Notes, March 1, 2006, Laura Grazyna Kafka, review of Polish Music since Szymanowski, p. 706.

Slavic Review, summer, 2006, Anne Swartz, review of Polish Music since Szymanowski, p. 363.

Slavonic and East European Review, January 1, 2006, John Casken, review of Polish Music since Szymanowski, p. 134.


Cardiff University School of Music Web site, (May 17, 2008), author profile.