Thomas, Theodore, 1835-1905

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Founder and first music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1891-1905).

From the description of Theodore Thomas memorabilia collection, 1845-1905. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70961879

Founder and first music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1891-1905), known at the time as the Chicago Orchestra.

From the description of Theodore and Rose Fay Thomas Felsengarten collection, 1814-1905. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70963346

Chicago Symphony Orchestra's founder and first musical director (1891-1905).

From the description of Theodore Thomas music library manuscript collection, [1840]-1900. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70965441

German-American who was the first conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO).

A self-taught violinist born in Esens, Germany in 1835, Thomas played with his father in small theater orchestras after emigrating in 1845 to New York. At age nineteen Thomas joined the New York Philharmonic Society and debuted as a conductor about 1859. He then formed his own orchestra, the Theodore Thomas Orchestra (1862-1888). In 1890, fifty wealthy Chicagoans pledged to establish a symphony orchestra, which opened as the Chicago Orchestra in 1891 with Thomas conducting. Thomas devoted the remainder of his life to conducting and developing this orchestra. When he died in 1905, he was survived by his second wife, Rose Fay Thomas, who actively supported his Chicago endeavors.

From the description of Theodore Thomas papers, 1852-1926. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 53385297

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Thomas, Theodore, 1835-1905. Theodore and Rose Fay Thomas Felsengarten collection, 1814-1905. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Rosenthal Archives
referencedIn Parker, Horatio W. (Horatio William), 1863-1919. The Horatio Parker papers, 1863-1972 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Hart, Philip, 1914-2000. Philip Hart papers, 1973-1974. Newberry Library
referencedIn The Moldenhauer Archives at Harvard University: Correspondence, literary manuscripts, sound recordings, and other material, 1873-2001. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn Chadwick, G. W. (George Whitefield), 1854-1931. George Whitefield Chadwick collection, 1873-1936, (bulk 1885-1930). New England Conservatory of Music, Harriet M. Spaulding Library
referencedIn Arthur Wise Papers, 1861-1972, 1946-1970 Special Collections in Performing Arts
referencedIn Collection on New Haven musical life, 1847-1890 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Collection of entrance tickets, Boston, ca. 1850-1902. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn Collection on New Haven musical life, 1847-1890 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Stock, Frederick, 1872-1942. Frederick A. Stock papers, 1904-1940s. Newberry Library
referencedIn Pogue, Samuel F. (Samuel Franklin), 1919-. Samuel F. Pogue papers, 1968-1980. Cincinnati History Library, Cincinnati Museum Center
creatorOf Thomas, Theodore, 1835-1905. Theodore Thomas music library manuscript collection, [1840]-1900. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Rosenthal Archives
referencedIn Clay, Frederic, 1838-1889. Autograph letter signed, dated : [London], 6 March [n.y.], to Sir Julius Benedict, [n.y.] Mar. 6. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Lang, B. J. (Benjamin Johnson), 1837-1909. Letters received, 1860 March 9-1903 Nov. Boston Athenaeum
creatorOf Thomas, Theodore, 1835-1905. Signature, dated : [s.l., s.d.], [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Cartes-de-visite album and biographies, ca. 1875-1876. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Musicians Club of Women. Musicians Club of Women records, 1893, 1917-1982 (bulk 1960-1981). Chicago History Museum
referencedIn The Love Family Papers, 1850-1960 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
creatorOf Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Fritz Reiner marked scores collection, [ca. 1880]-1961. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Rosenthal Archives
creatorOf Blakely, David, 1834-1896. Papers, 1880-1931, bulk (1892-1896). New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Thomas, Theodore, 1835-1905. Theodore Thomas papers, 1852-1926. Newberry Library
creatorOf Thomas, Theodore, 1835-1905. [Programs for concerts presented by Theodore Thomas before the founding of the Chicago Orchestral Association in 1891]. Chicago History Museum
referencedIn Gleason, Frederic Grant, 1848-1903. Frederic Grant Gleason papers, 1852-1908. Newberry Library
referencedIn Love family. The Love family papers, 1850-1960 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Westervelt, Louise St. John. Louise St. John Westervelt collection of theatrical and musical photographs [graphic], 1869-1930, (bulk 1870-1891). Newberry Library
referencedIn Adams, Milward, 1857-1923. Milward Adams photograph collection [graphic] Newberry Library
referencedIn Potter, Edward C. Letter, 1905 Mar. 27, Chicago, to Frederick A. Stock [Chicago] University of Michigan
referencedIn David Blakely papers, 1880-1931, 1892-1896 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Photographs of musicians, composers, and singers, 1862-1948. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Schabas, Ezra, 1924-. Ezra Schabas / Theodore Thomas papers [manuscript] 1835-1989. University of Toronto Music Library, Music Library
referencedIn Juilliard School collection of autograph letters and other documents, 1793-1985. The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
creatorOf Chopin, Frédéric, 1810-1849. Chopin's polonaise op. 53, for orchestra by Theodore Thomas Harvard Musical Association
referencedIn Orchestral Association (Chicago, Ill.). [Scrapbook of Theodore Thomas orchestra programs, with clippings relating to Theodore Thomas, ca. 1891-1906]. Chicago History Museum
creatorOf Thomas, Theodore, 1835-1905. [Miscellaneous concert programs held outside the Chicago area]. Chicago History Museum
creatorOf Thomas, Theodore, 1835-1905. Theodore Thomas memorabilia collection, 1845-1905. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Rosenthal Archives
creatorOf Thomas, Theodore, 1835-1905. [Letters, 1891] / Theodore Thomas. Northwestern University
creatorOf Wise, Arthur, 1906-1973. Arthur Wise papers, 1901-1972. University of Maryland Libraries, UMD Libraries
referencedIn Portrait file: Guide. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn Parker, Horatio W. (Horatio William), 1863-1919. The Horatio Parker papers, 1863-1972 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Records of the Marketing and Communications/Public Relations Department, 1891-[ongoing]. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Rosenthal Archives
referencedIn John Beutler drawings and caricatures, 1854-1861 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn The Horatio Parker Papers, 1863-1972 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Milward, 1857-1923. person
associatedWith Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. person
associatedWith Beach, H. H. A., Mrs., 1867-1944. person
associatedWith Beutler, John Baptist, 1824-1874 person
associatedWith Blakely, David, 1834-1896. person
associatedWith Boston Symphony Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Brooklyn Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Burnham, Daniel Hudson, 1846-1912. person
associatedWith Carpenter, John Alden, 1876-1951. person
correspondedWith Chadwick, G. W. (George Whitefield), 1854-1931. person
associatedWith Chicago Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Chicago Symphony Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Chopin, Frédéric, 1810-1849. person
associatedWith Cincinnati Musical Festival Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Clay, Frederic, 1838-1889. person
associatedWith Crystal Palace (London, England) corporateBody
associatedWith Elgar, Edward, 1857-1934. person
associatedWith Florio, Caryl, 1843-1920. person
associatedWith Frost, Robert, 1874-1963. person
associatedWith Fry, William Henry, 1813-1864. person
associatedWith Germania Club (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Gleason, Frederic Grant, 1848-1903. person
associatedWith Grand Opera House (Philadelphia, Pa.) corporateBody
associatedWith Hart, Philip, 1914-2000. person
associatedWith Jansa, Leopold, 1795-1875. person
associatedWith Kaun, Hugo, 1863-1932. person
associatedWith Lang, B. J. (Benjamin Johnson), 1837-1909. person
associatedWith Lehman, Lilli, 1848-1929. person
associatedWith Lindpaintner, Peter Joseph von, 1791-1856. person
associatedWith Love family. family
associatedWith Lucy Prindle Love and Helen Love Scranton person
associatedWith Mason, William, 1829-1908. person
associatedWith May Festival (Cincinnati, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Midwest Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Moldenhauer, Hans, collector. person
associatedWith Müller, Wenzel, 1767-1835. person
associatedWith Musical Union (London, England) corporateBody
associatedWith Musicians Club of Women. corporateBody
associatedWith National Sängerfest of the Nord-Amerikanischer Sängerbund 1888 : Saint Louis, Mo.) corporateBody
associatedWith Newberry Library. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Philharmonic. corporateBody
associatedWith Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Music Library. General Manuscript Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Orchestral Association (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Paderewski, Ignace Jan, 1860-1941. person
associatedWith Paine, John Knowles, 1839-1906. person
associatedWith Parker, Horatio W. (Horatio William), 1863-1919. person
associatedWith Philadelphia Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Pogue, Samuel F. (Samuel Franklin), 1919- person
associatedWith Potter, Edward C. person
associatedWith Ries, Ferdinand, 1784-1838. person
associatedWith Schabas, Ezra, 1924- person
associatedWith Schubert, Franz, 1797-1828. person
associatedWith Schumann, Robert, 1810-1856. person
associatedWith St. James Hall (London, England) corporateBody
correspondedWith Stock, Frederick, 1872-1942. person
associatedWith Strauss, Richard, 1864-1949. person
associatedWith Stuebel, Arthur. person
associatedWith Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich, 1840-1893. person
associatedWith Theodore Thomas Orchestra (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Thomas, Rose Fay, 1852-1929. person
associatedWith Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883. person
associatedWith Westervelt, Louise St. John. person
associatedWith Wise, Arthur, 1906-1973. person
associatedWith World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
England--London
Illinois--Chicago
Illinois--Chicago
Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Illinois--Chicago
Illinois--Chicago
Subject
Arrangement (music)
Composers--Portraits
Singers--Correspondence
Musicians--Portraits
Musicians
Musicians--Correspondence
Conductors (Music)--Correspondence
Symphony orchestras
Music
Singers--Portraits
Symphony orchestras--History--Sources
Music festivals
Theater
Programs, Concert
Music-halls
Conductors (Music)
Orchestral music--Scores
Composers--Correspondence
Actors--Portraits
Music libraries
Concerts
Manuscripts--German
Manuscripts, American
Occupation
Conductors (Music)--Illinois--Chicago
Function

Person

Birth 1835-10-11

Death 1905-01-04

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w65t3xj4

SNAC ID: 8879128