Thomson, Virgil (opera) (Garnett )
- John Rockwell
(b Kansas City, mo , Nov 25, 1896; d New York, Sept 30, 1989). American composer and critic . He was educated in Kansas City schools, at Harvard College and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, where he was among the first in the line of American composers to study with that formidable teacher. He lived in Paris between 1925 and 1940, cultivating a wide circle of artistic friends, chief among them the American writer Gertrude Stein, whom he met in 1926. Paris also provided his principal musical inspiration, in the works of Satie. Before and shortly after his first meeting with Stein, Thomson had set several of her poems, and the two then collaborated on Four Saints in Three Acts, first performed in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1934; its fashionable success established Thomson’s reputation. Returning to New York in 1940, he became chief music critic of the New York Herald Tribune...