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Welcome to the web site for Thomas Osborne, composer

Thomas Osborne’s music draws inspiration from a wide variety of sources, places and eras. As a composer interested in the possibilities of both Western and non-Western music, he has written works inspired by African polyphony, Indonesian gamelan, Japanese court music, ancient Persian music and Kentucky country fiddle playing. He has written many works for standard Western orchestral instruments as well as Asian traditional instruments.

November 24, 2018

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“Respect for Tradition IV” released by Busan National Gugak Center

Over the past four years, the Busan National Gugak Center Orchestra, a traditional ensemble that was led for years by conductor Kwon Sung-Taek (권성택) has presented a series of concerts entitled “Respect for Tradition.” Each of these programs features new works that are in some way connected to or inspired by the Korean traditional repertory. This is the second time I’ve composed a piece for this series, the first being…

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May 20, 2018

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CD Release: Drumpetello’s “The Beginning of Everything”

The chimera of classical music ensembles, Drumpetello, has released their debut CD recording featuring premiere recordings of four new works. Because of the lack of repertoire for the unique ensemble (trumpet, percussion, cello), the group commissioned four composers to write works for them in 2015. The twist here is that the commissions all were to be based on some element of folklore or mythology of Mexico. The trio are all…

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April 26, 2018

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“Eternity (영원)” performance from Seoul (video)

In December the Busan National Gugak Center’s traditional orchestra traveled to Seoul for a concert of new works commissioned by the ensemble, and included on the concert was my new work for daegeum and Korean traditional orchestra, “Eternity” (영원). This was the second performance of the piece, which took place at the National Gugak Center in Seoul. The piece itself was inspired by Sujecheon, a landmark work of Korean court…

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September 19, 2017

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New version of “Circles of Light” premiered in New York (video)

This past May, Kyo-Shin-An Arts presented a concert at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York that included a new arrangement of my trio “Circles of Light.” Originally scored for shakuhachi, violin and 21-string koto, this new version is for shakuhachi, cello and 13-string koto. The musicians did a fantastic job with the piece, which is filled with “blurry” passages inspired by a photographic phenomenon called bokeh. More info on…

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July 27, 2017

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Verses performed in Bangkok, Thailand (Video)

Last month the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music Youth Orchestra joined with Seoul National University faculty and students in a joint concert in Bangkok. Haegeum performer Kim Eunyeong (김은영) joined the orchestra for a performance of my haegeum concerto Verses, with Docki Kim conducting. The concerto was originally written for Korean traditional orchestra, and this is a newer version for Western instruments. For the performance, jump to 1:07:30 in…

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May 3, 2016

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“Across Oceans: Chamber, Vocal and Solo Music by Thomas Osborne” released by Aperio

After years in the making, I’m pleased to announce the release of Aperio: Music of the America’s new recording “Across Oceans: Chamber, Vocal and Solo Music by Thomas Osborne.” This is a group whose members I’ve worked with for well over a decade, and they’ve recorded an entire CD of my pieces. The disc includes Tracy Satterfield’s incredible performances of two song sets (Songs of a Thousand Autumns and Dreams…

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June 10, 2015

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New recording: “Mass Migration” by Gimhae Municipal Gayageum Orchestra

I just received the Gimhae Municipal Gayageum Orchestra’s new CD “Tall Tree Forest,” a collection of mostly-new pieces for the large ensemble based in a smaller city in the southern part of South Korea. The group is currently directed by Seoul National University professor and gayageum soloist Ji-young Yi, who has continued the ensemble’s work in commissioning composers to write new works for the orchestra. 6 of those commissions are…

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March 25, 2015

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Chinese Music Virtuosi in Honolulu

Just recently the UH Music Composition program, in partnership with the East-West Center, hosted the Chinese Music Virtuosi. CMV is a group from Hong Kong made up of 6 instruments: sheng (mouth organ), erhu (fiddle), yangqin (hammered zither), pipa (lute), dizi (flute) and guzheng (plucked zither). Four of the ensemble’s members made the trip to Honolulu, joining local musicians Frederick Lau and Yi-Chieh Lai on stage for the various events….

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March 5, 2015

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Busan National Gugak Center releases “Aura” on latest CD

This past Fall I had the privilege of visiting Busan, South Korea, twice to work with the Busan National Gugak Center’s traditional orchestra. The group, led by conductor Kwon Sung-taek, had commissioned me for a new piece based on a piece of traditional music. The resulting work, Aura, is a concerto grosso of sorts, scored for 8 soloists and Korean traditional orchestra. The commission itself was a tricky one: take…

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September 30, 2014

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Premiere of “Verses” in Busan, South Korea

Last week I returned from a trip to Busan, South Korea, where the Busan National Gugak Center Orchestra, under the direction of Seong-Taek Kwon, premiered my concerto for haegeum and Korean traditional orchestra, Verses. I’d actually written the piece 2 years prior, while living in Seoul, so it was a bit like visiting an old friend when I encountered the music again. Friend and haegeum virtuoso Soo Yeon Lyuh played the piece masterfully,…

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July 2, 2013

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The Eight Gates of Seoul

As my year in Seoul comes to an end, and now that my concerts are over, I’ve had time to unwind and explore the city more. My biggest project this year was a work written for Contemporary Music Ensemble Korea (CMEK) titled “Gateways.” The inspiration for this piece came from the 8 gates that were found along the city’s fortress wall for hundreds of years. As has been well-documented here…

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June 11, 2013

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Across Oceans, a concert in Houston

Last Saturday, Houston’s concert series “Aperio: Music of the Americas,” presented a concert of my music at the Asia Society Texas Center. I’ve been working with Aperio for years now, and it was incredibly gratifying to hear them perform 4 of my pieces on the same concert. The concert, titled “Across Oceans,” took place at the new Asia Society Texas Center in Houston. The building is really remarkable, with beautiful…

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