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News - Thomas appointed to University of Chicago :: Schirmer News Winter 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010
Schirmer News Winter 2010
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Augusta Read Thomas appointed University Professor


Augusta Read Thomas
August Read Thomas
photo: © Michael Lutch

Augusta Read Thomas will become the sixteenth person to hold a University Professorship when she joins the University of Chicago faculty in July 2011. Martha Roth, Dean of the Division of the Humanities, announced the appointment on November 8. "It is exciting to welcome as a colleague someone whose work lies at the intersection of the creative and scholarly worlds," Roth said in a message to Humanities faculty. "The University has a renewed commitment to expanding and integrating the arts into the academic enterprise and out into the city of Chicago and beyond; Augusta’s appointment is an important expression of that goal."

University Professor is a title currently held by only four other active faculty at the university; all are internationally recognized in their fields.

Her extensive body of work has won praise from conductors, performers and music critics worldwide. From 1997 to 2006, she was the Mead Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming performances include the US premiere of her Violin Concerto No. 3 (Juggler in Paradise) by The National Symphony Orchestra in June 2011.

"To join the University of Chicago community is an incredible gift. My colleagues are scholars and musicians of the highest order who inspire me and from whom I can learn vastly," Thomas said. "I am an active artist, and I hope to share my passion for the practice with our students. I look forward to working diligently, with wholehearted enthusiasm, to help ensure that the creative arts continue to thrive at the University of Chicago."

Learn more at The University of Chicago.

  • "…one of those rare people who [composes] because she cannot do otherwise. She lives first and foremost to write music."
    —Yehudi Wyner, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
  • "…boundless imagination and, to complement it, unsurpassed technical command of orchestration and of compositional resources. It is as though, no matter what she imagines in her mind, how ephemeral and complex, she is able to capture it and make it real, imbuing it with beauty and vitality."
    —Shulamit Ran, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
  • "[Her work] is extraordinarily colorful …There’s a lot of passion to it — this is music of the heart, first and foremost."
    —Christopher Rouse, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
  • "Ms. Thomas's compositional idiom is one of modernist complexity, yet the sheer delight she takes in exploring instrumental sonorities proves infectious."
    —Steve Smith, The New York Times, December 10, 2006
  • "Thomas, a prodigious talent, is the most accessible ambassador of the new modernism, and the piece, a fierce and jagged take on the love poetry of Sappho, Neruda, and Flaubert, among others, shines with passion and color."
    —Russell Platt, The New Yorker, March 15, 2004

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