BioBiography and Press Photos approved for use
The music of David Evan Thomas has been praised for its eloquence, power and craft. Critics note Thomas’s loving ties to tradition, made evident in clear forms, smart instrumental writing and skillful orchestration. Audiences respond to the music’s warmth, lyricism and sense of play.
Honored with a Citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowships (2013, 1992), a Montana Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship (1987), and the Möller-A.G.O. Award in Choral Composition, Thomas has received commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the American Composers Forum and the American Guild of Organists. He has been a resident artist at Wyoming’s Ucross and Brush Creek Arts Foundations, and at California’s Villa Montalvo. Recent honors include the Renée B. Fisher Composer Award and the Welcome Christmas Carol Award from VocalEssence.
David Evan Thomas’s varied catalogue includes music for orchestra and wind ensemble, forty chamber works, keyboard pieces large and small, an opera and an oratorio. Vocal music is particularly prominent, with over a dozen song cycles—on subjects ranging from medieval women troubadours to baseball writings of Donald Hall—and some sixty choral works. Thomas’s music is published by Adlais, ALRY, Augsburg Fortress, ECS, Falls House, Fatrock Ink, Jeanné, MorningStar, Classical Vocal Reprints VocalEssence Press and Yelton-Rhodes, and recorded on Innova, Klavier, Ten Thousand Lakes and CRI. Thomas’s most recent recording, In the blue glen, was released by The Debussy Trio in 2015.
Thomas’s orchestral music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, National Orchestral Association, Rochester Chamber Orchestra and Long Island Philharmonic, conducted by Gian-Carlo Guerrero, Jorge Mester and Eiji Oue. His choral works have been sung by London’s Westminster Cathedral Choir, the Minnesota Chorale, VocalEssence, the National Lutheran Choir, Kantorei and the Rose Ensemble. Thomas chamber works have been played by Gil Shaham, Truls Mørk and Yefim Bronfman; the Minneapolis, Artaria, Lux and Rosalyra String Quartets; the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet; the Debussy Trio, Zeitgeist and many beloved solo performers: singers Karen Clift, Maria Jette, Patricia Kent, Clara Osowski, Vern Sutton, Lawrence Weller, Gregory Wiest and Adriana Zabala; pianists Lydia Artymiw, Mark Bilyeu, John Churchwell, Margo Garrett, Timothy Lovelace and Shannon Wettstein; organists James Biery, Marilyn Biery, Dean Billmeier Katie Moss and Stephen Self, and instrumentalists David Baldwin, Burt Hara, Erin Keefe and Jeffrey Van. Among recent projects: To Joy, a song cycle for solo quartet and piano duet, commissioned by the Source Song Festival; and One Fair Summer Eve, commissioned by the Minnesota State Band.
Born in Rochester, New York in 1958, David Evan Thomas grew up as the fourth of five children in a musical family, the son of flutist John Thomas. David attended Penfield High School and the Eastman “Prep” Department, graduating with Honors in Trumpet and receiving encouragement in composition from David Russell Williams. As an undergraduate at Northwestern University, he studied trumpet and composition and learned the basics of organ playing from Robbe Delcamp. While there he conducted the Gilbert & Sullivan Guild, played trumpet in the Northwestern Symphony and Jazz Ensemble and sang in the Alice Millar Chapel Choir under Grigg Fountain’s direction. As a master’s student at Eastman, he was awarded the Director’s Fellowship; he then taught at the college level through the 1980s in Billings, Montana. Thomas served as Dominick Argento’s assistant at the University of Minnesota, where he also taught composition and orchestration, receiving the Ph.D. in 1996. Thomas’s teachers have included composers Argento, Samuel Adler, Robert Morris and Alan Stout, and trumpeters Vincent Cichowicz and Richard Jones. He studied further with David Diamond at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and at the Aspen Festival.
David Evan Thomas has an enduring relationship with the Schubert Club. He served as its first composer-in-residence from 1997 to 2005, received the “An die Musik Award” for outstanding service in 2016, and continues as a program annotator. His notes have appeared in program books for the Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Carnegie Hall and the Brevard Festival. In 2018, Thomas was initiated into Sigma Alpha Iota Fraternity as a National Arts Associate by the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Alumnae Chapter.
Thomas is a BMI affiliate. He lives in Minneapolis.
Medium Bio (265 words)
The music of David Evan Thomas has been praised for its eloquence, power and craft. A recipient of an Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two McKnight Foundation Fellowships (2013, 1992) and the Möller-A.G.O. Award in Choral Composition, Thomas has received commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Schubert Club, the American Composers Forum and the American Guild of Organists. He has been a resident artist at both Wyoming’s Ucross and Brush Creek Arts Foundations, and at California’s Villa Montalvo. Recent awards include a Martin Luther Hymn Prize and a Renée B. Fisher Composer Award. Thomas was a also a winner of the 2017 VocalEssence Welcome Christmas Carol Contest.
Thomas’s music is published by ECS, Augsburg Fortress, MorningStar, Jeanné, Fatrock Ink and Classical Vocal Reprints, and has received performances by the Minnesota Orchestra, London’s Westminster Cathedral Choir and the trio of Gil Shaham, Truls Mørk and Yefim Bronfman. Thomas has served as composer-in-residence with Westminster Presbyterian Church (Minneapolis), the Cathedral of Saint Paul, and from 1997-2005, The Schubert Club. In 2016 Thomas was awarded the “An die Musik Award” from that organization for outstanding service.
Born in Rochester, New York in 1958, David Evan Thomas received degrees from Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music and the University of Minnesota. His teachers included Dominick Argento, Samuel Adler and Alan Stout, with further study at the Aspen Festival and with David Diamond at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
Thomas lives in Minneapolis, where he is also active as a program annotator, choral singer and pianist. More: www.davidevanthomas.com.
Mini Bio (79 words)
David Evan Thomas has been honored with two McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowships, an Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Born in Rochester, New York in 1958, Thomas studied at Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music, and with Dominick Argento at the University of Minnesota. His music is published by ALRY, ECS, MorningStar, Augsburg Fortress, Tritone-Tenuto and several other publishers. Thomas lives in Minneapolis. More: www.davidevanthomas.com.
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