THOMAS SLEEPER (b 1956 )
Thomas Sleeper enjoys an active dual career as composer and conductor. His early musical training with Daryl F. Rauscher of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has influenced the “charged lyricism” and “singing” qualities found in his music today. Sleeper began his professional career as a member of Fermata, a group of composer/ performers who presented an annual series of interdisciplinary concerts throughout the state of Texas. At the age of 22 he was appointed Associate Conductor of the Dallas Civic Symphony and the SMU Chamber Orchestra and Opera Theatre, where he began studies with James Rives-Jones.
While in graduate school at the Meadows School of the Arts, he founded Perspectives, a contemporary music ensemble, which became part of that division’s curriculum. An active guest conductor in the United States and abroad, he has appeared with numerous orchestras including the Central Philharmonic of China, San Juan (Argentina) Symphony Orchestra, Ruse State Philharmonic and the China-Wuhan Symphony, which appointed him Artistic Advisor in 1993.
A strong advocate of new music, Sleeper has conducted the premières of numerous works by American composers, including Henry Brant, Carlos Surinach, Robert Xavier Rodriguez and Thomas Ludwig. He has recorded on the Albany, Centaur, Cane, Irida and Vienna Modern Master labels, with excellent reviews in Fanfare and The American Record Guide. Sleeper’s compositions have been performed throughout the United States, and in Europe, Asia and South America. Recent performances of his work include the Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, with Stefan Jezierski, of the Berlin Philharmonic; String Quartet No. 2, by the Bergonzi String Quartet; Adagio, for orchestra by the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony and Sleeper’s orchestration of Brahms’s Clarinet Sonata Opus 120, No. 2, by the Ruse State Philharmonic in Bulgaria.
Sleeper currently resides in Miami, Florida, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and Conductor of the University of Miami Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theater and Music Director of the Florida Youth Orchestra.