Augusta Read Thomas

  • Composer

"I consider myself a poet-composer. I sculpt my music in the same way that poets create, refine, and polish their poems."

Born in New York City, Augusta Read Thomas composes music that is nuanced, majestic, elegant, whimsical, lyrical, and picturesque. Trained at the University of Chicago, she founded the Center for Contemporary Composition there in 2016, and has long been composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, associated with conductors such as Pierre Boulez and Daniel Barenboim.

"I love to compose. The result is unpredictable, even for me. Everything is malleable, elastic, stretchable, windable, colorable, twistable, bouncy, zigzagging, and bursting. In the end, I feel like the piece composed me, not the other way around!"

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