Virgil Thomson (Virgil Garnett Thomson)
BiographyKansas City, Missouri, USA
One of the driving forces, both as critic and musician, of 20th century American music, Thomson studied music at both Harvard University and elsewhere in the Boston area before moving to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger in 1921. After spending a short time in his native land, he returned to Paris and remained there until 1940, working with many of the major composers, writers, and artists of the period, most significantly Gertrude Stein, with whom he wrote the opera "Four Saints in Three Acts" (1927-28). Read more... a Pulitzer Prize in Music for his score for the film Louisiana Story (1948). Hated by many in the music world for his acerbic criticism, Thomson nevertheless won numerous accolades, including the Legion d'honneur (1947) and the Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement (1983).