American composer Randall Thompson was born in New York on 21 April 1899. He studied at Harvard, taught at Wellesley College and took a doctorate in music at Eastman. Later he taught at the Curtis Institute, the University of Virginia and at Harvard, with students including Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Adler, Joel Cohen and Frederic Rzewski.
Thompson wrote three symphonies, two string quartets, the opera Solomon and Balkis and numerous vocal and choral works. He's best known for his 1940 Alleluia, an anthem commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky for the opening of Tanglewood's Berkshire Music Center. He also wrote Americana (1932), a song cycle parodying newspaper layout and content.
Randall Thompson died in Boston, Massachusetts on 9 July 1984, aged eighty-five.
CD Spotlight. Quite Haunting - American orchestral music impresses Geoff Pearce. '... impassioned and committed performances.'
Ensemble. Light from on High - Giuseppe Pennisi's first of two reports from the Sagra Musicale Umbra
CD Spotlight. Singing Praises - Randall Thompson's Requiem, highly recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... the choral forces and direction are superb.'
Ensemble. Wonderfully Atmospheric - Górecki, Chilcott, Thompson and Bernstein from Malcolm Goldring and the Sitwell Singers, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Added Vibrancy - Mike Wheeler listens to a classy concert from the Sitwell Singers
Ensemble. A Great Occasion - The Derby Roundhouse debut as a concert hall, described by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Healthy Revival - Choral music by Randall Thompson, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... performances and recording are exemplary throughout.'
Randall Thompson Centenary - Peter Dickinson writes about Thompson's career