About Paul Thomason

Paul Thoma­son has com­bined a life­long pas­sion for music with his decades of expe­ri­ence in pub­lish­ing to cre­ate a unique voice in writ­ing and lec­tur­ing about music.

Ear­ly work with piano, organ and var­i­ous oth­er instru­ments even­tu­al­ly led to study­ing con­duct­ing with Wil­fred Pel­leti­er in New York City, and an invi­ta­tion from Mae­stro Thomas Schip­pers to work with him in Italy. The Swiss con­duc­tor Peter Maag asked Paul to be his assis­tant dur­ing the 1973 – 74 sea­son of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Opera.

After detour­ing through the world of pub­lish­ing, both books (such as Ran­dom House, Bal­lan­tine Books, Pock­et Books) and mag­a­zines (Inter­na­tion­al Thom­son Retail Press and Ziff-Davis Com­put­er Pub­li­ca­tions), Paul began writ­ing about music. Since then his work has appeared through­out the US, Europe and Aus­tralia in the pro­grams of opera hous­es (the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Opera, San Fran­cis­co Opera, Chica­go Lyric, Hous­ton Grand Opera), sym­pho­ny orches­tras (the San Fran­cis­co Sym­pho­ny, New York Phil­har­mon­ic, Boston Sym­pho­ny), and major music fes­ti­vals (the Lucerne Fes­ti­val, the Aspen Music Fes­ti­val, Stern Grove Fes­ti­val); in pub­li­ca­tions like “Opera News” mag­a­zine, the “San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle,” and “Christo­pher Street” mag­a­zine, and in the book­lets of CD and DVD releases.

He has writ­ten numer­ous scripts for Met Opera radio broad­casts, both for the long-run­ning Sat­ur­day mat­inée broad­casts and for re-broad­casts of the his­toric per­for­mances heard on the Met’s Sir­ius-XM chan­nel on satel­lite radio.

In addi­tion, Paul has delight­ed audi­ences through­out the US as a lec­ture and teacher. He has giv­en pre-con­cert talks at the SF Opera, SF Sym­pho­ny, Stern Grove Fes­ti­val, and with Kennedy Center’s Opera Insights series, and spo­ken to the White Nights Foun­da­tion, the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia Wag­n­er Soci­ety, and the SF Opera Guild. He has taught numer­ous class­es in the exten­sion divi­sion of the San Fran­cis­co Con­ser­va­to­ry of Music, rang­ing from “How to Lis­ten to Opera” to “Shake­speare and Opera,” “The Faust Leg­end in Opera” to “Bel Can­to Opera” and “The Operas of Richard Strauss.”

Paul has appeared as a pan­elist on the Met Opera’s pop­u­lar inter­mis­sion quiz dur­ing the Sat­ur­day after­noon broad­cast, as well as on its Record Col­lec­tors Round­table. In addi­tion he has writ­ten and giv­en sev­er­al inter­mis­sion fea­tures dur­ing the Met’s broadcasts.

He is cur­rent­ly writ­ing a book about the music of Richard Strauss.