Photo credit to Hammon Photography

Photo credit to Hammon Photography

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American conductor Thomas Heuser has been widely recognized for his stirring leadership and energetic presence both onstage and in the community. The upcoming 2019-20 season will be his ninth as Music Director of the Idaho Falls Symphony and his fourth season as the newly-appointed Music Director of the San Juan Symphony, an innovative regional orchestra in the Four Corners that serves both Durango, Colorado, and Farmington, New Mexico. Thomas recently moved to Durango with his wife, violinist Lauren Avery, and their son Theodore.

Dr. Heuser was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Orchestral Conducting in Germany while serving as a Conducting Fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His Fulbright residency at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München included orchestral performances in Munich and Berlin and his European operatic debut with Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland in the medieval town of Weikersheim.

Moving from Munich to San Francisco, Thomas enjoyed three seasons as the Principal Guest Conductor of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra. He has been a guest conductor with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra in Durango, as well the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, the Vallejo Symphony Orchestra, the Idaho State Civic Symphony, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Stephen Foster Youth Orchestra, the Portsmouth Symphony, and with orchestras in Canada, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Estonia.

The son of two molecular biologists in St. Louis, Thomas began violin lessons at an early age and studied piano at the St. Louis Symphony Music School. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College and earned his Masters in Instrumental Conducting (MM) from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. In 2013 he completed his Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting (DMA) from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Thomas studied conducting with dozens of notable mentors, including Bruno Weil, Mark Gibson, David Effron, Thomas Baldner, John Poole, Paavo Järvi, Larry Rachleff, Gustav Meier, Marin Alsop, and David Robertson.

Photography by Dennis Hammon.  Updated July 2019.

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