Virgil Thomson
Virgil Thomson

Celebrity Profile

Name: Virgil Thomson
Occupation: Composer
Gender: Male
Birth Day: November 25, 1896
Death Date: Sep 30, 1989 (age 92)
Age: Aged 92
Birth Place: Kansas City, United States
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius

Social Accounts

Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
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Virgil Thomson

Virgil Thomson was born on November 25, 1896 in Kansas City, United States (92 years old). Virgil Thomson is a Composer, zodiac sign: Sagittarius. Find out Virgil Thomsonnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1988.

Does Virgil Thomson Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Virgil Thomson died on Sep 30, 1989 (age 92).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He studied with Erik Satie at Harvard. He was a student under Nadia Boulanger while in Paris where he attained great popularity.

Biography Timeline


In Paris in 1925, he cemented a relationship with painter Maurice Grosser, who was to become his life partner and frequent collaborator. Later he and Grosser lived at the Hotel Chelsea, where he presided over a largely gay salon that attracted many of the leading figures in music and art and theater, including Leonard Bernstein, Tennessee Williams, and many others. He also encouraged many younger composers and literary figures such as Ned Rorem, Lou Harrison, John Cage, Frank O'Hara, and Paul Bowles. Grosser died in 1986, three years before Thomson.


His most important friend from this period was Gertrude Stein, who was an artistic collaborator and mentor to him. After meeting Stein in Paris in 1926, Thomson invited her to prepare a libretto for an opera which he hoped to compose. Their collaboration resulted in the premier of the groundbreaking composition Four Saints in Three Acts in 1934. At the time, the opera was noted for its form, musical content and the portrayal of European saints by an all-black cast. Years later in 1947, he collaborated once again with Stein on his provocative opera The Mother of Us All which portrays the life of the social reformer Susan B. Anthony. Thomson incorporated musical elements from Baptist hymns, Gregorian chants and popular songs into both scores while demonstrating a restrained use of dissonance.


Thomson's contributions to music were not limited to the operatic stage, however. In 1936, he established a collaboration with the film director Pare Lorentz and composed music for the documentary film The Plow That Broke the Plains for the United States government's Resettlement Administration (RA). Thomson incorporated folk melodies and religious musical themes into the film score and subsequently composed an orchestral suite of the same name which was recorded by Leopold Stokowski and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra in 1946 for RCA Victor (# 11-9522,11-9523). In 1938 he also formed a collaboration with Lorentz and the operatic singer Thomas Hardie Chalmers on the documentary film The River for the United States government's Farm Security Administration. Thomson composed an orchestra suite based on the score; when it was published, the musical journal Notes commented: "Delightful as background music, the piece is an awful bore when you try to give it your full attention". Subsequently, in 1948 he collaborated with the director Robert J. Flaherty on the docufiction film Louisiana Story, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1949. At the time, the award was the only Pulitzer Prize in music granted for a musical composition written exclusively for film. Thomson's suite based on the score was premiered by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1949 to widespread critical acclaim.


Thomson was a recipient of Yale University's Sanford Medal. In 1949, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for the score to the film Louisiana Story. In addition, the Kennedy Center Honors award was bestowed upon Thomson in 1983. In 1988, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Ronald Reagan. He was a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity.


In 1969, Thomson composed Metropolitan Museum Fanfare: Portrait Of An American Artist to accompany the Museum's Centennial exhibition "New York Painting And Sculpture: 1940–1970".


Thomson died on September 30, 1989, in his suite at the Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan, aged 92. He had lived at the Chelsea for close to 50 years.


Following the publication of his book, The State of Music, Thomson established himself in New York City as a rival of Aaron Copland. Thomson's criticisms of Copland were phrased in terms that brought accusations of antisemitism, but Copland remained on good terms with him, and Thomson admitted his envy of Copland's greater success as a composer. Thomson was also a music critic for the New York Herald-Tribune from 1940 to 1954. A fellow critic, Robert Miles, accused him of being "vindictive and of settling scores in print". In a 1997 article in American Music, Suzanne Robinson writes that Thomson, motivated by "a mixture of spite, national pride, and professional jealousy" was consistently "severe and spiteful" to Benjamin Britten. Miles records that Thomson agitated for more performances in New York of new music, including his own.

Family Life

Virgil was raised in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Virgil attended Harvard University thanks to a loan from the Mormon church.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Virgil Thomson is 125 years, 0 months and 7 days old. Virgil Thomson will celebrate 126th birthday on a Friday 25th of November 2022. Below we countdown to Virgil Thomson upcoming birthday.


Recent Birthday Highlights

117th birthday - Monday, November 25, 2013


Virgil Thomson 117th birthday timeline
116th birthday - Sunday, November 25, 2012


Virgil Thomson 116th birthday timeline

Virgil Thomson trends


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