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Thomas Busse (Tenor, Conductor)

Born: USA

The American tenor and conductor, Thomas J. Busse, studied with SF Contemporary music players artistic director, David Milnes.

Thomas Busse is based in San Francisco, California since 2002. He has sung with professional choruses: Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Chorale (2002-Present), San Francisco Symphony Chorus - paid member (1999-2002; 2007-Present), San Francisco Opera Chorus (2003-2005), Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, San Francisco (2005-Present), Oregon Bach Festival Chorus (Summer, 2003), Santa Fe Desert Chorale (2003). He has appears as tenor soloist in concerts and operas: San Francisco Symphony - soloist in Charles Ives' Psalm 90 (November 2007) and Borniansky's Glory to God (December 2001); San Francisco Ballet Orchestra - soloist in Steve Reich's Three Tales (February 2007); Berkeley Repertory Theater as Sykos in Martinu's Comedy on the Bridge (Autum 2005); San Francisco Lyric Chorus as soloist in Dvorak's Mass in D (February 2005); Contemporary Opera Marin as Harlequin in Ullmann's Der Kaiser von Atlantis (July 2003); Pacific Boychoir Academy - soloist in J.S. Bach's Lutheran Masses in G major and G minor (October 2006).

In 2002, at age 22, Thomas Busse founded City Concert Opera in San Francisco. Since, he has built the organization into a well respected player in the Bay Area music scene by using his passion for many types of vocal music to give the area unique artistic experiences. Busse is an especial devotee of George Frideric Handel and the Italian Baroque (having conducted no less than five full evening G.F. Handel works including Serse, Acis and Galatea, and Messiah), but his training includes in depth study of 19th century Russian opera, and contemporary music.

Thomas Busse was Music Director of City Concert Opera until 2007. He frequently conducts opera, choral and instrumental ensembles and ollaborates with Bay Area composers to premiere new scores. His other conducting positions were: Assistant Conductor of San Francisco Bach Choir, San Francisco (2004-2005); Assistant Conductor of North Bay Opera (2003-2005); Assistant Conductor of University Opera Theater, University of California, Santa Cruz (2005); Assistant Conductor of University Symphony, University of California, Berkeley (2000-2003); Assistant Conductor of University Opera Workshop, UC Berkeley (2002-2003). He has appeared as guest conductor with Amherst Opera Ensemble/Cal Performances (August, 2007), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (October, 2003), San Francisco Concerto Orchestra (January and October 2006), EnsembleSF (February 2003), Berkeley Young Musicians Program (December 2001).

Thomas is also known as a professional music critic, writing reviews for the San Francisco Classical Voice. In addition, he has prepared performing editions of various works.

One of the most heartening spectacles the musical scene can offer: a small organization taking on an ambitious project and doing it superbly. The evening’s hero was City Concert Opera Orchestra, a group that under founding music director Thomas Busse specializes in unstaged performances of obscure opera scores…Busse’s command of the score was unerring.” - Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle (2005)
“The other standout, besides Busse’s sure hand, was Martin’s score.” - Opera News (2006)
"Busse, a personable and well-educated man, displayed equally refined musicianship in leading the performance…he showed solid conducting technique, seemed to respond to what he heard, and controlled the performance without overt histrionics. More to the point, he is an industrious entrepreneur, an essential quality in any young conductor. You have to admire his ambition and confidence, which should serve him well in the future" - San Francisco Classical Voice

Source: Thomas J. Busse Website; City Concert Opera Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2009)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Kevin Fox


BWV 150, BWV 235

Links to other Sites

Thomas J. Busse - Tenor/Conductor (Official Website)

City Concert Opera Orchestra San Francisco: Tom Busse -Artist Bio

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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