Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 26 >> Thacher to The Cualnge Tam B6 >> Thomas_3


york and musical

THOMAS, Theodore, American musician: b. Esens, East Friesland, 11 Oct. 1835; d. Chi cago, Ill., 4 Jan. 1905. He played the violin in public at the age of six and when only 10 made his first public appearance in New York. In his early concert and operatic engagements he appeared with Jenny Lind, Sontag, Grisi and Mario. During 1855-69 he was associated with Mosenthal, Bergmann, Matzka, Bergner and William Mason in successive seasons of cham ber-music concerts. In 1864, having organized the orchestra which long went under his name, he began his symphony concerts in New York. These were continued, excepting the interval from 1869 to 1872, until 1878, when he went to Cincinnati to become director of the College of Music. With an orchestra, sometimes of 40 and later enlarged to 60 pieces, he visited the large cities of the East and West, giving concerts of both popular and classical music and did much for the development of musical taste. With his name were associated the bien

nial musical festivals held in Cincinnati from 1873 to 1898. Festivals of a similar character were held under his direction in Chicago in .

1::2 and 1884 and in New York in 1882. As early as 1862 he was appointed conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic Society; when the New York Philharmonic Society was organized he was chosen its leader, and both positions he retained until 1891 when he made his residence in Chicago and became leader of the permanent orchestra in that city. In 1893 he was appointed musical director of the World's Columbian Ex position. Consult Thomas, Rose Fay, 'Our Mountain Garden' (New York 1904; new 1915) and Upton, G. P. (editor), 'Theodore Thomas: A Musical Autobiography> (2 vols., Chicago 1905).