Chapter

Theodore Thomas and the Cultivation of American Music

Brenda Nelson-strauss

in American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226769769
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226769776 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226769776.003.0017
Theodore Thomas and the Cultivation of American Music

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Theodore Thomas was one of America's most influential conductors and orchestra builders. He led the Brooklyn Philharmonic Society, the New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Orchestra (later renamed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra). Thomas's music library, as well as the unpublished portion of his concert programs, showed a much broader range of repertory and shed new light on his performances of American works and relationships with American composers. He continued to program music by American composers, and his American concerts in his Chicago summer series were part of a trend. Moreover, Thomas did not grow more conservative in his later years. He then conducted at least four hundred individual works by more than 150 composers who were either native-born or resident Americans.

Keywords: Theodore Thomas; America; conductors; orchestra builders; Brooklyn Philharmonic Society; New York Philharmonic; Chicago Orchestra

Chapter.  13060 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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