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Thomas Sokol

Emeritus Professor
Performance
choral conducting
M.A., George Peabody College

 

Professor Thomas Sokol joined the Cornell music faculty in 1957. During the following six decades he served as Professor of Music, Director of Choral Music, Department Chairman, Conductor of the Glee Club, the Chorus, the Chorale, the Chamber Singers and the Sage Chapel Choir. He became Professor Emeritus of Music in 1995.

Beginning in the nineteen-sixties he accepted invitations to be Music Director of the Dessoff Choirs of New York (1967-1972), the Buffalo Schola Cantorum (1973-1979), and Choral Conductor at Tanglewood (1964, 1972) and Saratoga Performing Arts Center (1966, 19680). He also served as President of the Intercollegiate Musical Council, President of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and Vice President of Cambridge Records.

Professor Sokol was chorusmaster for a vast number of concerts of choral-orchestral music. Among the many conductors for whom he prepared the chorusters were Nadia Boulanger, Karel Hisa, Erich Leinsdorf, Neville Marriner, Thomas Michalak, Charles Munch, Eugene Ormandv, Heichiro Ohyama, Julius Rudel, Murray Sidlin, Leopold Stokowski, Carl St. Clair and Michael Tilson Thomas; and orchestras, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Taipei Symphony, and with conservatory ensembles in Rochester, Beijing, Geneva, Hong Kong, Lyons and Shanghai. He conducted concerts in twenty-seven countries, with broadcasts and telecasts for the Public Broadcasting System, the BBC, NBC, CBS, the Bavarian Radio Network, Korean Television, Nippon Television, Moscow Television and Radio Budapest.

Thomas Sokol conducted the American premiere of works by Byron Adams, Maximillian Albercht, Franz Biebl, David Conte, Karel Husa, Karl Kohn, Bohuslav Martinu, Robert Palmer,  Daniel Pinkham, Anton Reicha, Nils Vigeland and Frits Werner. The Glee Club has established a program to commission an annual new composition in his honor.

Awards and Grants:
Carnegie Fellowship in Teaching
Peabody Fellowship
Ford Foundation Grant in the Arts and Humanities
Weyman Grant, Harvard University
New York State Council on the Arts grant
National Orchestral Association Conducting Award
Department of State Cultural Presentation Grant