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For the Canadian boxer see Randall Thompson
Randall Thompson (April 21, 1899 – July 9, 1984) was an Americanmarker composer, particularly noted for his choral works.


He attended Harvard Universitymarker, became assistant professor of music and choir director at Wellesley Collegemarker, and received a doctorate in music from the University of Rochestermarker's Eastman School of Musicmarker. He went on to teach at the Curtis Institute of Musicmarker, at the University of Virginia, and at Harvard. He is particularly noted for his choral works. He was an honorary member of the Rho Tau chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity at Appalachian State University.

Thompson composed three symphonies and numerous vocal works including The Testament of Freedom and The Peaceable Kingdom, inspired by Edward Hicks's painting. His most popular and recognizable choral work is his anthem, Alleluia, commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky for the opening of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewoodmarker. He also wrote the operas Solomon and Balkis and The Nativity According to St. Luke.

Leonard Bernstein was one of Thompson's students at Harvard. His other notable students include Samuel Adler, Leo Kraft, Juan Orrego-Salas, John Davison, Thomas Beveridge, Charles Edward Hamm, William P. Perry, Christopher King, Frederic Rzewski, and David Borden.

In honor of Thompson's vast influence on male choral music, on May 2, 1964 he became the first recipient of the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Glee Club Award of Merit. Established in 1964, this award sought "to bring a declaration of appreciation to an individual each year that has made a significant contribution to the world of music and helped to create a climate in which our talents may find valid expression." He was also a recipient of Yale Universitymarker's Sanford Medal.


Choral works



  • Symphony No. 1 - 1931
  • Symphony No. 2 - 1931
  • Symphony No. 3 - 1947-49

String Quartets

  • Quartet no. 1 in D minor
  • Quartet no. 2 in G major (1967)


  1. Leading clarinetist to receive Sanford Medal

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