- Margaret E. Thomas
(b Philadelphia, Jan 1, 1926; d Merion, PA, Dec 6, 1995). American composer, flautist and musicologist. She studied at the Philadelphia Conservatory (BMus 1948, MMus 1950, DMus 1955), where her teachers included Persichetti, and later with Mennin at the Juilliard School of Music, and with Sessions and Foss at Tanglewood. A flute student of William Kincaid (with whom she wrote two books on flute playing), she was active both as a solo performer and as a member of the Panorphic Duo. She held teaching appointments at the Philadelphia Conservatory (1949–64) and Rutgers University (1958–91). Among her honours were a MacDowell Colony Fellowship (1968), the Delta Omicron International Composers Award (1953, 1958) and numerous ASCAP awards.
Polin’s scholarly interests included early Welsh music, the instruments and music of ancient and biblical times, Russian folk and contemporary music, contemporary American music, interdisciplinary studies and flute education. Her compositions, generally scored for solo instruments or chamber groups, often reflected her research, incorporating folk material and birdsong into an otherwise freely atonal idiom. Sparse and delicate textures and an emphasis on contemporary instrumental techniques are also characteristic of her works....