Robert Thompson Bio
Two-time Grammy nominated producer and musician, Robert Thompson is currently Vice President of G. Schirmer Inc./Associated Music Publishers/Music Sales Corporation, and is an Associate Professor of Arts Management at SUNY Purchase College where he teaches courses in arts management & entrepreneurship and arts & entertainment law.
Thompson has toured and performed around the globe with artists such as the Moody Blues, Yes, Chuck Mangione, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Cab Calloway among others. Together with with former New York Yankee, Bernie Williams, he is co-author of the best-selling book, Rhythms of the Game (for which Paul Simon wrote the foreword). He previously worked with Ray Manzarek of The Doors and Todd Gershwin in creating a new Doors concert experience. Thompson is currently engaged as a music producer and music supervisor for the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California, where he is creating and producing shows for the 2013-14 season. Thompson was also a founding business partner of ArtistShare (www.artistshare.com), for which its artists have garnered over 5 Grammy Awards and 15 Grammy nominations to date, and also served as an artist manager with Double M Arts, where he represented The National Theatre of Scotland, Mark Morris Dance Group and the John Cage Trust, among others.
He produced the Grammy-nominated recording Allegresse by composer Maria Schneider for ENJA Records and served as music consultant to the Johnny Depp-Cate Blanchett film, The Man Who Cried, for Universal Pictures. He has been increasingly successful in placing contemporary classical music, including the music of Arvo Pärt, in such major motion pictures as Fahrenheit 911, The Insider, Swept Away, and Heaven. He produced and performed in the world premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión Según San Marcos (“a magnificent triumph of Latin-American music” ...The Los Angeles Times), for which the live recording also received a Grammy nomination, and launched and produced the first U.S. tour of the work. Thompson worked extensively with The Kronos Quartet and Nonesuch Records in producing their Grammy-winning recording of Alban Berg’s The Lyric Suite. He has continued to produce live concerts throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
From 1995 through 2006, Thompson was the Managing Director and member of the Board of the European music company, Universal Edition, with offices in Vienna, London, and New York and home to such composers as Béla Bartók, Alban Berg, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Arvo Pärt, Arnold Schönberg, and Kurt Weill. During his tenure, Thompson expanded the operations of Universal into film and production and was credited in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians for having spearheaded the acquisition of new composers and opening the company’s first office in the United States.
From 2006 through 2013, he was the managing partner of Thompson Music Group, LLC, which has produced concerts throughout the world such as Symphony Hall in Boston, Tanglewood, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Royal Albert Hall, Salzburg Festival, and others.
As a conductor, Thompson has conducted the Chicago, Seattle, Detroit, San Diego, Hartford, Nashville, Houston and Phoenix Symphonies among many others. He is a founding member of Rhythm & Brass, an ensemble that is sponsored by Yamaha and tours throughout the U.S. and Japan. He recorded two albums for D’Note Records with Rhythm & Brass, along with his own solo album, Parallels, with guitarist Gene Bertoncini.
Thompson teamed up with Hall of Famer and former New York Yankee Dave Winfield to create and produce “The Baseball Music Project”, a series of theatrical concerts presented in association with the Baseball Hall of Fame, with Winfield as host and narrator and Thompson as producer and conductor.Winfield and Thompson have presented over thirty concerts together throughout the USA, which resulted in Thompson being featured on CBS’s “Sunday Morning” with Charles Osgood, where he talked about the project. In conjunction with The Baseball Hall of Fame, Thompson also hosted the XM Radio program, Voices of the Game with Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award winner Randy Newman as his guest. He is the co-author of "Baseball's Greatest Hit" for which Carly Simon wrote the foreword and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig wrote the introduction.
He is a voting member of NARAS (the Grammys), is a former First Vice-President of the Music Publishers’ Association, and served on committees at both ASCAP and BMI. He previously served as Dean of the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College and inaugral director of its Arts Management program, was a visiting professor at the University of Kentucky, taught at Hope College and in Vienna for DePauw University. He holds a Doctorate and two Masters’ of Music degrees from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, where is is currently a Kaufmann Foundation advisor in the program's Entrepreneurship in Music division. He also holds a Master of Music and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida.
Thompson is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Grants, a SABR Award, and was given the Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of South Florida in 2006.