[Artist's picture]

Thomas A Blomster, composer/conductor

Thomas Alvin Blomster was born in Portland, Oregon in 1960. He grew up in Boulder, Colorado where his father was a professor of Germanic Languages and a music critic and his mother taught piano and humanities. Blomster began writing music at the age of four when he started percussion lessons with John Galm and piano lessons with his mother. George Crumb and David Burge were members of the faculty at the University of Colorado when he was growing up, so Blomster had frequent contact with contemporary music. At the age of 14 Blomster was accepted as a percussion student at the Aspen Music Festival where he studied with Charlie Owen of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He performed and spent time with Karel Husa, Aaron Copland, Elliot Carter, Phillip Glass, and the Harry Partch Ensemble.

Blomster spent time studying in Germany and Switzerland. He attended college in Louisville, Kentucky, where he joined the Louisville Orchestra. In college and with the Louisville Orchestra he studied composition with Claude Baker and met, performed, and recorded music by David Amram, Michael Colgrass, Morton Gould, Karel Husa, and a host of other composers.

Blomster has participated in the Wyoming Arts Council Meet the Composer program and been a composer in residence at the Challenge School in Denver, Colorado.

In the fall of 1984 Blomster joined the Denver Chamber Orchestra and pursued his love of jazz with his own group, The Utopian Futurist Society In 1995 Blomster and his colleague Wayne Templeman founded The Mercury Ensemble, now in its seventh season.

Thomas Blomster has performed, conducted, and recorded with the Louisville Orchestra, the Colorado Springs Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Boulder Brass, the Utopian Futurist Society, and Chicago blues woman Joanna Connor.

A Brighton Serenade was commissioned by family friend Ann Mills in memory of her father. As David Thomas of the underground rock band Pere Ubu recently stated: "Nowadays you get a song about a song." Originally begun as a serial piece for string quartet during Thomas A. Blomster's residency at the Ucross Foundation in 1988, the composition remained unfinished until Ms. Mills shared how her father used to play pop tunes of his time. Blomster used three of these songs ("Begin the Beguine", "Moonlight Serenade", and "Kitten On The Keys") to breathe heart and soul into an otherwise intellectual exercise on four chords.

Blomster says: "I have always been a believer in cross-over projects and America is still a melting pot. A Brighton Serenade is a summation of my interests, including Frank Zappa, Igor Stravinsky, King Crimson, Bela Bartok, the Beatles, Miles Davis, Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman and J. S. Bach. Many thanks to Chicago blues woman Joanna Connor for letting me borrow her song 'Meditations' as the backdrop for Mr. Hank Troy's piano solo during "Barr Lake Blues".

S022600CD - A Brighton Serenade

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