Thomas Osborne

Thomas Osborne

Assistant Professor of Composition & Theory

Thomas Osborne's music draws inspiration from a wide variety of sources, places and eras. As a composer interested in the possibilities of both Western and non-Western music, Thomas has written works inspired by African polyphony, Indonesian gamelan, Japanese court music, ancient Persian music and Kentucky country fiddle playing. While most of his pieces are written for standard Western orchestral instruments, he has recently written for the Japanese koto and the Korean gayageum, both Asian traditional instruments.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1978 and raised in Greenfield, Indiana, Thomas grew up playing the piano under the instruction of Elizabeth Brock. Later developing an interest in composition, he went on to study with his principle teachers Edward Applebaum, Claude Baker, Donald Crockett, Don Freund, Arthur Gottschalk and Steven Hartke, earning degrees from Indiana University, Rice University and the University of Southern California. His music has been played by the American Composers Orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the New England Philharmonic, the Pacific Symphony, the T'ang Quartet, pianist Jason Hardink, and many others. He has received commissions from the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the New York Youth Symphony, Korean gayageum soloist Ji-Young Yi, the Walala percussion duo, and the Intermezzo Chamber Music Series (Salt Lake City), among others. His music has received awards from BMI, and he has received a Distinguished Alumni award from Park Tudor School.

Thomas has lived in Honolulu since 2006, and is assistant professor of composition and theory at the University of Hawaii. In recent years he has been active as a conductor, and directs the University of Hawaii Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Moving forward, Thomas looks forward to further exploring what happens when sounds collide, be they old or new, classical or folk, Western or non-Western. For more information about Thomas Osborne, visit

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