Marcus 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 as also appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta, and with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.
As a recitalist, he has performed in series throughout the Americas, at Carnegie Recital Hall, The Metropolitan Museum, The National Gallery in Washington, D.C., Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at Jordan Hall and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and Teatro Nacional in the Dominican Republic.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Thompson has been a frequent guest of festivals and series on four continents. Among these are festivals in Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Montreal, Santa Fe, Seattle, Sitka, Spoleto, Edmonton and Okinawa. He appeared often with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center including in a Live from Lincoln Center broadcast, and as the guest of the Cleveland, Emerson, Jupiter, Miami, Orion, Shanghai and Vermeer string quartets.
Since 1984 Mr. Thompson has been a member musician of the Boston Chamber Music Society, Boston’s premiere chamber series. In fall of 2009 Mr. Thompson was appointed its second Artistic Director with responsibility for programming and performing in the eight-concert subscription season at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre.
Thompson’s performance highlights of recent seasons include the premiere of Olly Wilson’s Viola Concerto with the Rochester Philharmonic, the premiere of Elena Ruehr’s Viola Concerto Shadow Light with the New Orchestra of Washington, D.C., a premiere of James Lee’s Sonata for Viola and Piano at a recital at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., an appearance with the Calder Quartet at the Rockport Festival (MA), and with the Borromeo String Quartet at the Gardner Museum in Boston.
In the coming season 2017-2018, in addition to performing in the 35th Boston Chamber Music Society Series, Mr. Thompson will appear in recital series in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Canada–in Montreal and Ottawa– and at MIT, where he will perform one of Vivaldi’s Viola d’Amore Concertos, Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel, the chamber version of Elena Ruehr’s Concerto Shadow Light, and Vaughn-Williams’ Flos Campi in observance of the fiftieth anniversary of his Boston recital debut.
A native of the South Bronx, Mr. Thompson holds a doctorate in viola performance from The Juilliard School, and has been a member of the viola faculty at New England Conservatory of Music for more than three decades. He has been a professor of music at MIT for more than four decades and in 2015 was appointed to MIT’s highest faculty honor, become one of thirteen Institute Professors.