Biography

Richard Pearson Thomas, composer and pianist, has had works performed by the Boston Pops, Covent Garden Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Chautauqua Opera, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Banff Centre, Portland Opera, Skylight Opera Theatre, and Riverside Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir. His songs have been sung in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Merkin Concert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Joe’s Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, and before the U.S. Congress by artists such as Audra McDonald, Sanford Sylvan, Lauren Flanagan and Kurt Ollmann. He is a frequent collaborator with The Mirror Visions Ensemble which has performed his commissioned works in the United States and Europe.
 
He is a recipient of an American Composers’ Forum Continental Harmony commission for the Alabama Tri-State Orchestra as well as commissions from the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, the Empire State Youth Orchestra, and the Riverside Philharmonic Orchestra. His work Race for the Sky, which was commissioned as a commemoration of the events of 9/11, has been performed by the Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra and in recitals nationwide. Chamber music by Mr. Thomas has been performed by Sybarite 5, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Music of the Spheres Society, South Country Concerts, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and recorded by violinist Stephanie Chase at the National Arts Club for broadcast on NPR’s Performance Today.
 
Mr. Thomas’s commissioned comic opera, A Wake or a Wedding, was premiered by the California State University at Fullerton Opera Theatre and produced by Encompass New Opera Theatre in New York City. His opera Parallel Lives was produced Off-Off Broadway by the Riverside Opera Ensemble, as was Ladies in a Maze, produced by Encompass Music Theatre. His musical Golden Gate, winner of the Michael Stewart Foundation Award, was presented in concert version by the Monmouth Civic Chorus. Original music for In Thinking of America: Songs of the Civil War has been heard in more than 150 cities nationwide.
 
As pianist, Mr. Thomas has concertized with singers worldwide.
 
Mr. Thomas is currently on faculty at Teachers College/Columbia University. He has taught at Yale and the University of Central Florida. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California, and is a native of Montana.