Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/121

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THOMAS.

' Overture for a Corned}' ' ; 'As you like it,' produced by the Musical Society of London in 1864; and 'Mountain, Lake, and Moorland,' produced at the Philharmonic in 1880. The last two works have been frequently played with great success. [W.B.S.]

THOMAS, JOHN (known in Wales as ' Pen- cerdd Gwalia,' i.e. chief of the Welsh minstrels, a title conferred on him at the Aberdare Eisteddfod of 1861), a very distinguished harpist, was born at Bridgend, Glamorganshire, on St. David's Day, 1826. He played the piccolo when only four, and when eleven won a harp at an Eisteddfod. In 1840 he was placed by Ada, Countess of Lovelace (Byron's daughter), at the Royal Academy, where he studied under J. B. Chatterton (harp), C. J. Eead (piano), and Lu- cas and Cipriani Potter (composition). He re- mained at the Academy for about eight years, during which time he composed a harp concerto, a symphony, several overtures, quartets, two operas, etc. On leaving the Academy he was made in succession Associate, Honorary Member, and Professor of the Harp. In 1851 he played in the orchestra of Her Majesty's Opera, and in the same year went a concert tour on the continent, a practice he continued during the winter months of the next ten years, playing successively in France, Germany, Russia, Austria, and Italy. In 1862 Mr. Thomas published a valuable collection of Welsh melodies, and in the same year gave with great success the first concert of Welsh music in London. In 1871 he was appointed conductor of a Welsh Choral Union, which for six years gave six concerts annually. In 1872, on the death of Mr. J. B. Chatterton, he was appointed Harpist to the Queen, and is now teacher of the harp at the Royal College of Music.

Mr. Thomas has always taken a deep interest in the music of his native country. There has scarcely been an Eisteddfod of importance held during the last twenty years at which he has not appeared as both adjudicator and performer, and he has recently (1883) collected a large sum with which he has endowed a pei-- manent scholarship for Wales at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1866, at the Chester Eisteddfod, he was presented with a purse of 500 guineas in recognition of his services to Welsh music. Mr. Thomas is a member of the Academies of St. Cecilia and the Philhar- monic of Rome, the Florentine Philharmonic, and the Royal Academy, Philharmonic, and Royal Society of Musicians, of London. His compositions include a large amount of harp music, amongst which are 2 concertos, one of which was played at the Philharmonic in 1852 ; ' Llewelyn,' a cantata for the Swansea Eisteddfod (1863) ; and 'The Bride of Neath Valley,' for the Chester Eisteddfod (1866). [W.B.S.]

THOMAS, LEWIS WILLIAM, born in Bath, of Welsh parents, learnt singing under Bianchi Tay- lor, and in 1850, when 24, was appointed lay-clerk in Worcester Cathedral. In 1852 he was made master of the choristers, and during the next few

��THOMAS.

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��rears sang frequently at Birmingham, Gloucester, lereford, and Worcester. In 1854 he made his first appearance in London, at St. Martin's Hall ; n 1855 ne san g at tlie Sacred Harmonic, and n 1856 settled in London, with an appoint- ment at St. Paul's. In the following year Mr. Thomas left St. Paul's for the choir of the Temple Church, and in the same year was ap- >ointed a gentleman of Her Majesty's Chapel ioyal. In 1857 he had lessons of Mr. Randegger, and appeared under his direction on the operatic stage, which however he soon abandoned for the oncert-room, where he is chiefly known as a 3ass singer of oratorio music. During the last ew years Mr. Thomas has been a contributor to the press on matters connected with music and art. [W.B.S.]

THOMAS, THEODORE, born Oct. n, 1835, at Esens, in Hanover ; received his first musical nstruction from his father, a violinist, and at the age of six made a successful public appear- ance. The family emigrated to the United States n 1845, and for two years Theodore made fre- quent appearances as a solo violinist in concerts at New York. In 1851 he made a trip through ihe Southern States. Returning to New York tie was engaged as one of the first violins in concerts and operatic performances during the engagements of Jenny Lind, Sontag, Grisi, Ma- rio, etc. He occupied the position of leading violin under Arditi, and subsequently, the same position in German and Italian troupes, a part of the time officiating as conductor, until 1861, when he withdrew from the theatre. In 1855 he began a series of chamber-concerts at New York, with W. Mason, J. Mosenbhal, Carl Berg- mann, G. Matzka, and F. Bergner, which were continued every season until 1869. In 1864 Mr. Thomas began his first series of symphony con- certs at Irving Hall, New York, which were continued for five seasons, with varying success. In 1872 the symphony concerts were resumed and carried on until he left New York in 1878. Steinway Hall was used for these concerts, and the orchestra numbered eighty performers. In the summer of 1866, in order to secure that effi- ciency which can only come from constant practice together, he began the experiment of giving nightly concerts at the Terrace Garden, New York, removing, in 1868, to larger quarters at the Central Park Garden. In 1869 he made his first concert tour through the Eastern and Western States. The orchestra, at first numbering forty players, was, in subsequent seasons, increased to sixty. The programmes presented during these trips, as well as at New York, were noticeable for their catholic nature, and for the great number of novelties brought out. But it was also notice- able that the evenings devoted to the severer class of music, old or new, in the Garden concerts at New York, were often the most fully at- tended. Thomas's tendencies, it was plainly seen, were toward the new school of music; but he was none the less attentive to the old, and he introduced to American amateurs a large num- ber of compositions by the older masters. The

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