Marcus Thompson has taught at NEC since 1983. Also a member of the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1973, in 2015 that school awarded Thompson its highest honor, the title of Institute Professor.
Thompson has earned critical acclaim since his New York recital debut in 1968 as winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He has since performed as soloist with the Boston Pops, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. As a recitalist, he has appeared in series throughout the Americas, including New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall and Metropolitan Museum, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall, San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, Teatro Nacional in the Dominican Republic, Terrace Theater at The Kennedy Center, and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.
An artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society since 1984, Thompson became BCMS's second artistic director beginning with the 2009/2010 concert season, succeeding cofounder and NEC alumnus, cellist Ronald Thomas '74. In fall 2009 Thompson also launched a blog in which he discusses repertoire performed by BCMS.
Thompson has been a frequent guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Vermeer, Muir, Emerson, Orion, and Audubon string quartets, and chamber music festivals in Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Marlboro, Santa Fe, Seattle, Sitka, Spoleto, and Vail.
Mr. Thompson earned Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees at the The Juilliard School following viola and viola d’amore studies with Walter Trampler. His repertoire includes Boston Premieres of György Ligeti’s Loop, John Harbison’s Sonata for Viola and Piano, and Harbison’s Viola Concerto, recorded last season with BMOP in celebration of the composer’s eightieth birthday. Mr. Thompson has also commissioned and premiered Viola Concerto by Olly Wilson with the Rochester Philharmonic. His recordings include Paul Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher, Ernest Bloch’s Suite, Joseph Jongen’s Suite, Jean Francaix’s Rhapsodie, Shadow/ Light by Elena Ruehr, Viola Concertos by Béla Bartók and Tibor Serly, and Frank Martin’s Sonata da Chiesa for Viola d’Amore and Strings.
B.M., M.S., D.M.A., The Juilliard School. Violin studies with Louise Behrend. Viola with Walter Trampler. Additional studies with Abraham Skernick, Michael Avsharian, and Ivan Galamian. Chamber music studies with the Juilliard, Amadeus, and Netherlands string quartets and Joseph Gingold. Recordings on Vox/Turnabout, Centaur, and with the Boston Chamber Music Society on Northeastern. Former faculty of the Juilliard School Pre-College Division, Oakwood College, Wesleyan University, Mount Holyoke College. Mr. Thompson served as MIT's first Robert R. Taylor Professor of Music from 1995 until 2015 when he was appointed one of MIT’s ten Institute Professors.
Photo by Christian Steiner