DMA, Stanford University

Director, Institute for New Music. Hans Thomalla is a German-American composer based in Chicago. He has written chamber music as well as orchestral works and a particular focus of his activity lies in composing for the stage. His opera Fremd was produced by the Stuttgart Opera in 2011 and his second opera Kaspar Hauser by the Freiburg Opera in 2016. His most recent work for the stage, Dark Spring, was premiered at the Mannheim Opera in 2020.

Thomalla is Professor of Music Composition at Northwestern University, where he founded and directs the Institute for New Music. He studied at the Frankfurt Musikhochschule and received his doctoral degree in composition from Stanford University, where he was a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. From 1999-2002 he held the position of Assistant Dramaturge and Musical Advisor at the Stuttgart Opera. He has taught at June in Buffalo and the Freiburg Matrix Academy, and has served on the faculty of the Darmstadt Ferienkurse for several years.

Thomalla has been awarded numerous awards and fellowships, including the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis, the Composer Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, the Christoph-Delz Prize, a Fromm Commission, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. During the academic year 2014-15 he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and in 2020-21 he was a fellow at the Kaplan Humanities Institute at Northwestern University.

Hans Thomalla appears as a fictional character in Alexander Kluge’s story collection “Wer ein Wort des Trostes spricht, ist ein Verräter. 48 Geschichten für Fritz Bauer.”

For more information, visit Hans Thomalla's personal website.


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May 19, 2023

Bienen School hosts fifth biennial new music conference April 21-23

March 21, 2023

Bienen School announces new music concerts for winter and spring

January 23, 2023

Nov. 19 Bienen concert to feature US premiere of Thomalla work

November 2, 2021

Bienen School hosts fourth biennial new music conference virtually on April 24

April 6, 2021

Yi-Ting Lu wins Nief-Norf International Call for Scores

March 23, 2021

Thomalla’s ‘Dark Spring’ streaming until December 7

November 30, 2020

Faculty artists release new works on page and stage this summer

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A Lot from Little

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Institute for New Music announces 2019-2020 season

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