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Virgil Thomson

p, 1896-1989 US, Kansas City, Missouri
Musician / Composer of Classical

Virgil Thomson (November 25, 1896 – September 30, 1989) was an American composer and critic. He was instrumental in the development of the "American Sound" in classical music. He has been described as a modernist, a neoclassicist, a composer of "an Olympian blend of humanity and detachment" whose "expressive voice was always carefully muted" until his late opera Lord Byron which, in contrast to all his previous work, exhibited an emotional content that rises to "moments of real passion", and a neoromantic.

  • Classical
  • Soundtrack
  • Spoken Word
Popular Tracks   
10 Études: No. 10, Ragtime Bass on Piano Music in America, 1900-1945 by Rogers Shields
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need (arr. V. Thomson) on America the Beautiful by Michael McCarthy
Three Antiphonal Psalms: Psalm 123 on By the Rivers of Babylon - American Psalmody, Vol. II by Gloriae Dei Cantores, Elizabeth C. Patterson & James E. Jordan
A Solemn Music on Classical Music for Ultimate Focus by Musica Relajante, Piano Dreamers & Calm Music for Studying
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need on Westminster Choir: Favorite Hymns and Anthems by Westminster Choir, Joan Lippincott, Ronald Arnatt & Joseph Flummerfelt
At the Beach on The Art of the Trumpet by Håkan Hardenberger
Hymns from the Old South: The Morning Star on Aaron Copland & Virgil Thomson - Sacred & Secular Choral Music by Gloriae Dei Cantores & Elizabeth C. Patterson
The River: Finale on Thomson, V.: Plow That Broke the Plains / the River by Virgil Thomson & Angel Gil-Ordóñez
The Plow That Broke The Plains - Suite: Cattle on American Classics: Virgil Thomson by Virgil Thomson & Various Artists
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need on And Peace at the Last by Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine & Peter Latona

Track list and 30sec audio provided by


Title Artist Year Type
Composers-Critics of the New York Herald TribunePaul Bowles, Lou Harrison, Virgil Thomson, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, John Cage2017Album
The Mother Of Us AllVirgil Thomson - Manhattan School Of Music Opera Theater, Steven Osgood, Dona D. Vaughn2014Album
Three PicturesVirgil Thomson, Thomas Meglioranza, Kristen Watson, Boston Modern Orchestra Project2010Album
Jamestown Concerto, American Music For Cello And OrchestraWilliam P. Perry, William Schuman, Virgil Thomson, Yehuda Hanani, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, William Eddins2008Album
The Red Violin CapricesJohn Corigliano - Virgil Thomson2008Album
The Plow that Broke the Plains - The River - Symphony No.2 'Romantic'Virgil Thomson, Howard Hanson, The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Sir Neville Marriner, Leonard Slatkin2008Album
The Plow That Broke The Plains / The RiverVirgil Thomson, Post-Classical Ensemble, Angel Gil-Ordóñez2007Album
Rider On The Plains: Cello Concertos by Virgil Thomson And Charles FussellVirgil Thomson & Charles Fussell – Emmanuel Feldman • Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Paul Gambill • New England String Ensemble, Susan Davenny Wyner • Joy Cline Phinney2006Album
A Continuum Portrait 7Virgil Thomson, Continuum2005Album
Festival Overture, Piano Concerto No. 2, Filling Station, Symphony No. 2Nikolai Lopatnikoff, Robert Helps, Virgil Thomson, Robert Kurka, Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller2003Album
Chamber WorksVirgil Thomson2002Album
Sacred & Secular Choral MusicAaron Copland, Virgil Thomson2000Album
By The Rivers Of Babylon (American Psalmody Vol. II)Samuel Adler · Virgil Thomson · Arnold Schoenberg · Charles Martin Loeffler · Robert Starer · Clifford Taylor · Gerald Near · David Ashley White · Kent A. Newbury · Jean Berger · Bruce Neswick - Gloriae Dei Cantores, Elizabeth C. Patterson, James E. Jordan, Jr.1999Album
Symphony On A Hymn Tune · Symphony No. 2 In C Major · Symphony No. 3 · Pilgrims And PioneersVirgil Thomson - The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, James Sedares1999Album
Modern American Vocal Works: Premiere Recordings 1950-1953Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson1999Compil.
The MaskWilliam Bolcom / Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco / Virgil Thomson - New York Concert Singers, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, Judith Clurman1998Album
American MasterpiecesLeonard Bernstein, Charles Ives, William Schuman, Samuel Barber, Morton Gould, Charles Griffes, Edward MacDowell, George Gershwin, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Arthur Benjamin, Richard Rodgers, Virgil Thomson, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, André Kostelanetz1997Compil.
Four Saints In Three Acts (Abridged) / The Plow That Broke The PlainsVirgil Thomson1996Compil.
Symphony No. 5 / Concerto For FluteBohuslav Martinů / Virgil Thomson - The Louisville Orchestra, Robert Whitney1995Album
Virgil ThomsonVirgil Thomson1994Album
The Plow That Broke The Plains · Suite From 'The River'Virgil Thomson, Symphony Of The Air, Leopold Stokowski1994Compil.
American MastersSamuel Barber / Virgil Thomson – The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra • Andrew Schenck – Westfälisches Sinfonieorchester • Siegfried Landau1994Compil.
American String Quartets 1900 - 1950George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, William Schuman, Virgil Thomson, The Kohon String Quartet1993Album
Portraits and other WorksVirgil Thomson, Jacquelyn Helin1993Album
Louisiana Story / The Plow That Broke The PlainsVirgil Thomson - The New London Orchestra, Ronald Corp1992Album
American MiniaturesSamuel Barber • Aaron Copland • Virgil Thomson1992Compil.
Great American LandscapesFerde Grofé, Virgil Thomson, Aaron Copland1992Compil.
Hanson Conducts McPhee, Sessions, ThomsonColin McPhee, Roger Sessions, Virgil Thomson, Howard Hanson, Eastman-Rochester Orchestra1992Compil.
Early and As RememberedVirgil Thomson, Yvar Mikhashoff, Martha Herr, John Boudler, David Kuehn1991Album
Portraits and Self PortraitsVirgil Thomson, Anthony Tommasini, Sharan Leventhal1990Album
3 Portraits For Orchestra, 3 Pictures For Orchestra, 4 Blake Songs / 3 Jewish PoemsVirgil Thomson / Ernest Bloch1989Compil.
Symphony On A Hymn Tune / Symphony No. 2 / A Solemn Music And A Joyful Fugue / Shipwreck And Love Scene From Byron's Don Juan / Five Tenor Solos From The Opera Lord ByronVirgil Thomson, James Bolle, Martyn Hill1989Album
UntitledWilliam Sharp, Steven Blier - Virgil Thomson, Paul Bowles, Lee Hoiby, Richard Hundley, John Musto, Eric Klein1989Album
Symphony No. 3 / Romeo And Juliet / Piano ConcertoVirgil Thomson, David Diamond, Lee Hoiby1989Compil.
The Complete Film Scores: The River, The Plow that Broke the PlainsVirgil Thomson, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Richard Kapp1989Album
American Piano Music, Vol. 1Aaron Copland / Virgil Thomson / Paul Bowles / Samuel Barber / Leonard Bernstein / Phillip Ramey - Bennett Lerner1987Album
20th Century American Chamber MusicThe Mirecourt Trio - Paul Reale, Samuel Barber, Roy Harris, Virgil Thomson, Paul Creston, Wallingford Riegger1986Album
American Piano MusicAaron Copland / Virgil Thomson / Paul Bowles / Samuel Barber / Leonard Bernstein / Phillip Ramey - Bennett Lerner1984Album
At The Tomb Of Charles Ives / Divertimento / Party Pieces / Academic GraffitiThe Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Lukas Foss - Lou Harrison / Vladimir Ussachevsky / John Cage, Henry Cowell, Virgil Thomson / Leo Smit1983Album
Piano Music By Virgil ThomsonVirgil Thomson - Nigel Coxe1983Album
Four Saints In Three ActsVirgil Thomson, Gertrude Stein - The Orchestra Of Our Time, Joel Thome, Betty Allen, Gwendolyn Bradley, William Brown, Clamma Dale, Benjamin Matthews, Florence Quivar, Arthur Thompson1982Album
A Portrait AlbumVirgil Thomson - Paul Jacobs, Joseph Silverstein, American Brass Quintet1982Album
The Piano Music of Virgil ThomsonVirgil Thomson, Arthur Tollefson1980Album
SymphoniesVirgil Thomson / Robert Helps1980Album
American HistoricVirgil Thomson With The Philadelphia Orchestra1979Album
Symphony On A Hymn Tune / Feast Of Love / Four PsalmsVirgil Thomson, Howard Hanson, Eastman-Rochester Orchestra1978Album
The Mother Of Us AllVirgil Thomson, Gertrude Stein1977Album
Music For The Films The Plow That Broke The Plains, The RiverVirgil Thomson - The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Sir Neville Marriner1976Album
Quartet No. 2 / VoyageVirgil Thomson / William Schuman1973Album
Symphony No. 6 / Louisiana Story (Suite)Howard Hanson, Virgil Thomson, Siegfried Landau1973Album
Quintet In B Minor For Flute, String Trio & Piano / Serenade For Flute & Violin / Quintet For A-Clarinet, String Trio & PianoDavid Diamond / Virgil Thomson / Robert Palmer1972Album
HiFi/Stereo Review Presents Three Works by Virgil ThomsonVirgil Thomson, Lillian Fuchs, Betty Allen, Joseph Fuchs, Arthur Balsam1965Album
Four Saints In Three ActsVirgil Thomson • Gertrude Stein1964Album
Four Saints In Three ActsVirgil Thomson • Gertrude Stein1964Album
The Plow That Broke The Plains / Suite From 'The River'Virgil Thomson / Symphony Of The Air / Leopold Stokowski1961Album
Western Symphony / Filling StationHershy Kay - George Balanchine, Virgil Thomson - Lew Christensen, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Leon Barzin1954Album
Four Saints In Three ActsVirgil Thomson, Gertrude Stein, Soloists, Chorus, And Orchestra1954Album
Variations On Sunday School Tunes / Four Chorale PreludesVirgil Thomson / Roger Sessions - Marilyn Mason1954Album
The River / Prelude On A Hymn Tune By William Billings And Two Symphonic InterludesVirgil Thomson, Otto Luening1952Album
Our Town / Orchestra Suite From The Plow That Broke The PlainsAaron Copland / Virgil Thomson - The Little Orchestra Society, Thomas Scherman1952Album
A Concert Of American Music In SchönbrunnSamuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Walter Piston, Randall Thompson, Virgil Thomson1952Album
Concerto For Violoncello And Orchestra / The Mother Of Us All Suite For OrchestraVirgil Thomson, Janssen Symphony Of Los Angeles, Luigi Silva, Werner Janssen1951Album
Louisiana Story / Five PortraitsVirgil Thomson1950Album
The Plow That Broke The PlainsVirgil Thomson, Leopold Stokowski, Thomas Chalmers1946Album
Virgil Thomson: Suite "The River" / Robert Ward: Symphony No. 1Virgil Thomson, Robert Ward – Wiener Symphoniker / Walter Hendl, Dean DixonAlbum
Modern American Music Series: Stabat Mater / Capital, Capitals / Suite For 'Cello And Harp / Suite No. 2 For String QuartetVirgil Thomson, Lou HarrisonAlbum
Two Chamber Works and a Song-CycleVirgil ThomsonAlbum
Bicentenaire U.S.A Bicentennial 1776 - 1976John Philip Sousa, Edward MacDowell, Charles Griffes, Charles Ives, Ferde Grofé, Virgil Thomson, Howard Hanson, Robert Russell Bennett, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Morton Gould, William Schuman, Walter Piston, Leroy AndersonCompil.
Concerto For Violoncello And Orchestra / The Mother Of Us All Suite For OrchestraVirgil Thomson, Janssen Symphony Of Los Angeles, Werner JanssenAlbum
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