Edward Thomas was a classical and popular composer whose works have enjoyed success in concert halls and theaters. Mr. Thomas studied musical composition with the celebrated Hungarian-American composer, Tibor Serly, and began his many faceted musical career as guitarist, songwriter, and composer. He was equally at home in jazz, theater, commercial and concert music genres.
Thomas’ opera “Desire Under the Elms,” with a libretto by Joe Masteroff, was produced at New York’s City Center. The opera was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of George Manahan, featuring soloists James Morris, Jerry Hadley and Victoria Livengood. It was released internationally in October 2002 as part of Naxos’ American Opera Classics series and was nominated for a 2004 Grammy award. Thomas has also received seven gold records as producer and composer for a wide range of artists, including Julie Andrews, Jack Jones, Vikki Carr, Leontyne Price, Vic Damone, Roberta Peters, and the Vienna Choir Boys.
His “Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra” was premiered at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall with soloist Sidney Fell and the Master Virtuosi of New York conducted by Gene Forrell. It was subsequently performed by Stanley Drucker with the Great Neck Symphony. Later Mr. Drucker recorded a reduction of the Concerto for clarinet and piano with Stephen Gosling.
“Images for Oboe and Strings” received its world premiere at the American Music Festival in Oklahoma conducted by Gene Forrell. “Whimsey for Chamber Orchestra” received its world premiere by San Jose Chamber Orchestra and was performed the following year by the Westchester Philharmonic conducted by Paul Dunkel.
The New York Virtuosi presented the world premiere of “Fantasy for Two Clarinets” at Merkin Hall, performed by soloists Stanley and Naomi Drucker under the baton of Kenneth Klein. Fantasy was subsequently recorded in 2011 with Stanley and Naomi Drucker and the American Composers Orchestra conducted by George Manahan. 2011 also saw a new recording of Thomas’ “Reflections For Violin and Piano” with violinist,Glenn Dicterow. The composer’s one act opera “A Sunny Morning,” based on the Quintero brothers play, was recorded in 2012 by Judy Kaye and Tim Jerome. In 2014 his string quartet was recorded by The Dali String Quartet with Tom Shepard as producer.
The musical “Six Wives“, a Thomas/Masteroff collaboration based on the life and loves of Henry VIII, was produced by the York Theater. His score for the musical “Mata Hari“, with lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Jerome Coopersmith, was originally produced by David Merrick in Washington D.C., and subsequently staged as “Ballad for a Firing Squad” at the Theater de Lys and at the York Theater in New York City. In August, 2013 Naxos released “The Eddie Thomas Singers” and “Voices From The Apartment Below” …two classic jazz vocal albums recorded with world class jazz musicians… Hank Jones, Milt Hinton and Clark Terry to name a few. Phil Ramone was engineer and co-producer.
All recorded works by Mr. Thomas are available in various forms on Naxos.