Grammy-Winning Composer to Speak at W&J

Created: March 3, 2015  |  Last Updated: January 17, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged: ,

WASHINGTON, PA (Feb. 27, 2015) – Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and Grammy-winning composer Augusta Read Thomas will present a lecture entitled “The A.R.T. of Composing” on March 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 100 of the Dieter-Porter Life Sciences Building on the Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Thomas’s talk is a joint effort of the W&J Phi Beta Kappa Chapter (PBK) and the W&J Music Department, and is made possible through support from the Office of Academic Affairs and the College’s National Endowment for the Humanities Grant.

Throughout the day, Thomas will meet with students and professors to share her unique knowledge as one of the premier composers of her generation.

Thomas is a professor of composition at the University of Chicago and was Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1997 through 2006. She was on the faculty at the Eastman School of Music and Wyatt Professor of Music at Northwestern; she also has taught at Tanglewood and the Aspen Music Festival.

The album “Colors of Love” by Chanticleer, featuring two of Thomas’s compositions, won a Grammy award in 2000. In 2007, her Astral Canticle was one of two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Her musical compositions comprise choral and chamber music, orchestral works, ballet, and concertos, which have been commissioned and performed by leading orchestras, among them the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra.

A fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, Thomas is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is the recipient of awards from the Siemens, Koussevitzky and Guggenheim foundations.

Since 1956 the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar program, available to campuses with chapters of PBK, has offered undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.


About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work.

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