School of Music

Festival of Contemporary Art Music

Photo: Diane ThomeFebruary 5–7, 2015

Guest Composer
Diane Thome

Composer of a wide variety of works spanning solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, and electronic media, Diane Thome is former professor and chair of the composition program at the University of Washington School of Music. Her compositions have been presented in Europe, China, Australia, Israel, Canada, and the United States. She has been composer-in-residence at numerous institutions, including the University of Sussex (England), Bennington College, and the University of Cincinnati. Thome has also been a guest of the Ecole Nationale Claude Debussy and featured on French radio.

She is the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in music from Princeton, where she also received an M.F.A. in composition. Her other degrees include an M.A. in theory and composition from the University of Pennsylvania and two undergraduate degrees with distinction in piano and composition from the Eastman School of Music. Among her teachers were Dorothy Taubman in piano and Robert Strassburg, Roy Harris, Darius Milhaud, A.U. Boscovich, and Milton Babbitt in composition.

Thome’s honors include the 1994 Washington Composer of the Year; the 1995-96 Solomon Katz Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, University of Washington; and a 1998 International Computer Music Conference Commission. Recent commissions include those from the Bremerton Symphony Association, Seattle Symphony, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, The Eleusis Consortium, The Esoterics, and Trimpin. Her collaborative works include Night Passage, an environmental theatre piece for the Moore College of Arts in Philadelphia, and Angels, for virtual reality artwork shown at the Biennale des Arts Electroniques in Paris.

Thome’s music has been recorded on the CRI, Crystal Records, Capstone, Leonarda, and Centaur labels, including Palaces of Memory and Bright Air/Brilliant Fire, two monographic CDs of her electroacoustic music (Centaur). The latter was described by Computer Music Journal as “a must-have for every electro-acoustic music collector.”

Learn more at Diane Thome's website »

Festival schedule »

The Festival of Contemporary Art Music celebrates art music of our own time. Works by student and faculty composers are highlighted along with those of the visiting composer.

"Without the festival, and others like it, young people might not be introduced to this music," says Dr. Charles Argersinger, professor emeritus and festival creator. "It really is in danger of becoming extinct."

The 2015 Festival of Contemporary Art Music is made possible through generous support from the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Music. The festival was founded in 1989 by Dr. Argersinger and is currently under the direction of Ryan M. Hare.


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