Marcus Thompson

Artistic Director and violist

Marcus Thompson has performed in chamber music series and recitals throughout the world. As a chamber musician, Mr. Thompson has been a frequent guest of festivals and series in Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Edmonton, Montreal, Santa Fe, Seattle, Sitka, Spoleto, Okinawa, and Rio de Janeiro. He appeared often with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall, on tour, and in a “Live from Lincoln Center” broadcast, and as a guest of the Cleveland, Emerson, Jupiter, Miami, Orion, Shanghai, and Vermeer String Quartets. Mr. Thompson has been a member musician of the Boston Chamber Music Society since 1984. In 2009 he was appointed its second artistic director. As a recitalist, he has performed in series throughout the Americas, including Carnegie Recital Hall and The Metropolitan Museum in New York, The National Gallery and Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Jordan Hall and Gardner Museum in Boston, and Teatro Nacional in the Dominican Republic. Mr. Thompson has appeared as viola and viola d’amore soloist with many of this country’s leading symphony orchestras. He has performed concertos, major works, or premieres with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Mr. Thompson has recorded the Bartók Concerto with the Slovenian Radio Orchestra, and works of Serly, Jongen, and Françaix with the Czech National Symphony. In the 2017–18 season, in addition to performing in the 35th BCMS series, Mr. Thompson appears in recital series in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Canada—in Montreal and Ottawa—and at MIT, where he performs Vivaldi’s Second Concerto for Viola d’Amore and Strings, Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel, the premiere of the chamber version of Elena Ruehr’s viola concerto Shadow Light, and Vaughan Williams’s Flos Campi in observance of the fiftieth anniversary season of his Boston recital debut. Born and raised in the South Bronx, Mr. Thompson holds a doctorate in viola performance from The Juilliard School. He has been a member of the viola faculty at New England Conservatory for more than three decades, and professor of music at MIT for more than four decades. In June of 2015 he was appointed to MIT’s highest faculty honor, becoming one of its thirteen Institute Professors.


Season 2017-18 concerts:
09/23/17   Mozart & Fauré
09/24/17   Mozart, Mendelssohn & Fauré
10/22/17   Beethoven, Prokofiev & Dvořák
11/11/17   Brahms
11/12/17   Schumann, Schoenberg & Brahms
02/18/18   Beethoven, Debussy & Walton
04/08/18   Mozart, Debussy, Godfrey & Mendelssohn
05/13/18   Mozart, Fauré & Schubert