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 Schubert Club, 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. In 2017, Thomas was a winner of the VocalEssence Welcome Christmas Carol Contest and he received a Renée B. Fisher Composer Award.
David Evan Thomas’s varied catalogue includes music for orchestra and wind ensemble, forty chamber works, keyboard pieces large and small, and an opera. Vocal music is prominent, with twelve song cycles—on subjects ranging from medieval women troubadours to the comic lyrics of Wendy Cope and baseball writings of Donald Hall—and fifty choral works. Thomas’s music is published by Adlais, ALRY, ECS, Falls House, Fatrock Ink, Jeanné, Tritone, Yelton-Rhodes and Classical Vocal Reprints. His concert music for organ solo and duet is available through MorningStar, and four volumes of service music are published by Augsburg Fortress. Thomas’s most recent recording, Thrum, was released by the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet on Innova in 2013. Other works are recorded on CRI and Ten Thousand Lakes. Thomas is a B.M.I. affiliate.
Thomas’s orchestral music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, National Orchestral Association, Rochester Chamber Orchestra and Long Island Philharmonic, and conducted by Jorge Mester, Eiji Oue, Gian-Carlo Guerrero, David Wiley, Mallory Thompson and John P. Paynter. His choral works have been sung by London’s Westminster Cathedral Choir, Kantorei, the Minnesota Chorale, the National Lutheran Choir, the Rose Ensemble and VocalEssence. Thomas chamber works have been played by the trio of Gil Shaham, Truls Mørk and Yefim Bronfman, the Minneapolis and Rosalyra String Quartets, the Debussy Trio, the California E.A.R. Unit, Zeitgeist and many beloved solo performers: singers Awet Andemichael, Karen Clift, Laura Hynes, Maria Jette, Patricia Kent, Vern Sutton and Lawrence Weller; pianists Lydia Artymiw, John Churchwell, Margo Garrett, Timothy Lovelace and Shannon Wettstein; organists Philip Brunelle and James Biery and Marilyn Biery; and instrumentalists David Baldwin, Burt Hara, Erin Keefe and Jeffrey Van. Among recent projects: The Bridge, composed for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony’s 2014 tour of Spain and The First Apostle, an oratorio premiered in Houston in 2012.
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. He attended Penfield High School and the Eastman “Prep” Department, graduating with Honors. During this time he received encouragement as a composer from David Russell Williams. As an undergraduate at Northwestern University, he studied trxmpet, composition and conducting and sang in the Alice Millar Chapel Choir under Grigg Fountain’s direction. As a master’s degree student at Eastman he was awarded the Director’s Fellowship; he then taught in the 1980s at Montana State University-Billings, playing principal trxmpet in the Billings Symphony. Thomas was 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 Dominick Argento, Samuel Adler, Robert Morris and Alan Stout, and trumpeter Vincent Cichowicz. He studied further at the Aspen Festival and with David Diamond at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
As the composer-in-residence for the Schubert Club from 1997-2005, Thomas became a familiar face in the Twin Cities arts community. During that time, he also served residencies at Westminster Presbyterian Church (Minneapolis) and the Cathedral of Saint Paul through the American Composers Forum Faith Partners Program, and at Saint Paul Academy. Thomas is the program annotator for The Schubert Club, writing about chamber and recital music. He has also written program notes for the Minnesota Orchestra, VocalEssence and the Brevard Festival, and has presented pre-concert “Fanfares” for Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra concerts. As an amateur pianist, Thomas has attended the Bennington Chamber Music Conference three times, 2014–16. Thomas lives in Minneapolis, where he makes music as a pianist and choral singer.
Medium Bio (198 words)
The music of David Evan Thomas has been praised for its eloquence, power and craft. A two-time McKnight Foundation Fellow, he has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Guild of Organists. Thomas has received commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Schubert Club and the American Composers Forum.
Thomas’s music is published by ECS, Augsburg Fortress and MorningStar, and has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, London’s Westminster Cathedral Choir and the trio of Gil Shaham, Truls Mørk and Yefim Bronfman. He has served as composer-in-residence with Westminster Presbyterian Church (Minneapolis), the Cathedral of Saint Paul, and from 1997-2005, The Schubert Club.
Born in Rochester, New York in 1958, David Evan Thomas graduated with honors from the “Prep” Department of the Eastman School of Music, and received degrees from Northwestern University, Eastman and the University of Minnesota. His teachers have 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, pianist and conductor.
Mini Bio (55 words)
Born in Rochester, New York, David Evan Thomas studied at Northwestern University, the Eastman School, and with Dominick Argento at the University of Minnesota. His work has been commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and published by ECS, Augsburg Fortress and MorningStar.