Michael Thornton Fun Facts

Q: Where do you get your musical inspiration?
A: As I spend more time performing the varied repertoire required of a 21st century orchestra, I find that my sources of inspiration have become more varied. Working with artists like Yo Yo Ma and Renee Fleming is always something to be treasured, as they epitomize the ability to transcend their instruments and communicate with the audience so naturally. Additional inspiration has come from wonderful popular artists- most notably Trey Anastasio, the lead guitarist of the rock band Phish, whose performance with our orchestra a few years ago rivaled the top classical artists in terms of ease, fluidity, ability to create music spontaneously, and a variety of other factors. He is one of my current favorite artists of any genre.

Q: What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
A: When I was in high school, I was fortunate to attend the New York State Summer School of Orchestral Studies, where I first heard and studied with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ironically, I now perform with them regularly, and have performed onstage at SPAC in Saratoga, NY where I first heard them! nbsp;

Q: What are some current projects you are working on?
A: I just completed my first CD- a collection of horn trios with pianist Andrew Litton (better known as a conductor, of course) and violinist Yumi Hwang-Williams. I am planning a second recording this summer with pianist Susan Grace (CCMF Director!) and flutist Julie Thornton. I am also looking forward to performances of R. Strauss Horn Concerto No. 2 in December 2016 with the Cape Town Philharmonic in South Africa!

Q: What drew you to the Colorado College Summer Music Festival?
A: It is to be expected that the students and faculty are all exceptional at a festival of this caliber, but what I love the most about CCMF is the sense of family. Each year I look forward to joining my wonderful friends on the faculty, and meeting, living, and interacting among the talented, diverse, and interesting festival fellows.

Q: What are you most excited for this upcoming festival season?
A: I am very excited about all of the repertoire this season, and applaud Sue Grace for her innovative programming every year. I think the two works that have truly piqued my interest are the Stravinsky Rite of Spring arranged for Wind Quintet by Jonathan Russell, and the Hindemith Concerto for Piano, 10 Brass Instruments, and 2 Harps. It is always so wonderful to play side-by-side with the outstanding fellows- last year's performance of the Berg Chamber Concerto was one of my favorites.

- Michael Thornton 2015
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