Theodore Thomas

Tchaikovsky Research
Theodore Thomas (1835-1905)

German-American conductor and violinist (b. 11 October 1835 [N.S.] in Esens, East Friesland; d. 4 January 1905 [N.S.] in Chicago), born Theodore Christian Friedrich Thomas.

Thomas exhibited a prodigious musical talent, and at the age of seven he played the violin for the King of Hannover. In 1845 his family moved to New York, and in 1854 he secured a position in the first violin section of the New York Philharmonic Society, and the following year he helped to launch a series of monthly chamber concerts in the city, which lasted for fourteen years. In 1859 he made his debut as a conductor, and formed his own orchestra in 1862. He held conducting posts in Philadelphia (1876), Brooklyn (1862–78), New York (1877–91), Cincinnati (1878–79), and Chicago (1891–1905).

On 12 November 1881 [N.S.], Thomas conducted the world premiere of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2 at a Philharmonic Society concert in New York, with Madeline Schiller as soloist.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

Two letters from Tchaikovsky to Theodore Thomas have survived, both dating from 1892, and have been translated into English on this website:

External Links