Thomas Kotcheff

Biography Thomas Kotcheff

Thomas Kotcheff
(b. 1988) is a Los Angeles based composer and pianist. His music has been described as “truly beautiful and inspired” ( and “explosive” (Gramophone magazine). His compositions have been performed internationally by The Riot Ensemble, New York Youth Symphony, wild Up, Sandbox Percussion, Trio Appassionata, Argus Quartet, Lyris Quartet, Alinde Quartett, USC Thornton Edge, The Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, HOCKET, Peabody Percussion Group, Latitude 49, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble amongst others.

Thomas has won numerous awards and honors including a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Presser Foundation Award, New York Youth Symphony's First Music Commission, Aspen Music Festival's Hermitage Prize, a BMI Student Composer Award, a SCI/ASCAP Student Commission, multiple awards from the National Association of Composers USA, and the RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Competition amongst others.

Thomas has been a composition fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic's National Composers Intensive, the Festival International d'Art Lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence, the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Bennington Chamber Music Conference, and attended The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival and the MusicX festival with Eighth Blackbird. He has been artist in residence at The Byrdcliffe Art Colony, The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, The Avaloch Farm Music Institute, The Studios of Key West, and The Hermitage Artist Retreat.

As a new music pianist, Thomas has dedicated himself to commissioning and premiering new piano works. His playing has been described as “dazzling” and “brilliant” by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times. His recent recording of Frederic Rzewski’s Songs of Insurrection comes out on Coviello Contemporary in Fall 2020 and his recording of Jordan Nelson’s Songbook for solo piano will be released in 2021. He is the pianist and founding member of the Los Angeles based piano duo HOCKET.

Thomas currently serves on the music theory and ear training faculty at the Colburn School and is a faculty member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship Program. He holds degrees in composition and piano performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and The University of Southern California.

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