- Catherine Parsons Smith
(b Pearl River, NY, Jan 25, 1942). American composer and pianist. She studied at the Eastman School (BM in composition and performer's certificate, 1963); the University of Pennsylvania (MA in theory and composition, 1965); and at Princeton (MFA in composition, 1970), where she received the PhD for her dissertation Toward Structural Characterization of the Timbral Domain, 1973. Her teachers included Dorothy Taubman, for piano, and Robert Strassburg, Harris, Milhaud, Boskovich and Babbitt, for composition. In 1963–4 she was pianist for the Israel Dance Theatre, Tel-Aviv. Thome has taught at Princeton and SUNY, Binghamton. In 1977 she was appointed to the University of Washington where she became chair of the composition and theory division in 1995. In her music, which has frequently been written to commission and which is widely performed, she explores the boundaries between live performance and computer-synthesized sounds. Polyvalence (1972), for computer and ensemble, was among the earliest computer-synthesized compositions by a woman; ...