Principal, Colorado Symphony Orchestra; University of Colorado at Boulder
Michael Thornton joined the Colorado Symphony as Principal Horn in September 1997. He has appeared with the orchestra as a soloist on numerous occasions. Prior to joining the Colorado Symphony, Michael left his studies at The Juilliard School for the Principal Horn position with the Honolulu Symphony. Mr. Thornton has also played guest Principal Horn for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, and the Chatauqua Institute Festival Orchestra in Chatauqua, NY. He has performed many subscriptions and summer seasons with the Philadelphia Orchestra, including several Carnegie Hall performances. In June 2005, Michael toured Asia and recorded several Mahler Symphonies with them under Maestro Christoph Eschenbach. Michael has also performed with the Concerto Soloists Orchestra of Philadelphia, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and the members of the New York Philharmonic Brass Section. Mr. Thornton has recorded on the Angel/EMI, Koch International, Naxos, Vox Classics, and Albany labels.
Michael is an active chamber musician and soloist. He is the Solo Horn of the Washington Island Chamber Festival in Door County, Wisconsin. He is also a member of both the Colorado Symphony Wind Quintet and the University of Colorado faculty chamber winds. Michael has performed and toured with various Colorado chamber groups, including the Colorado Chamber Players and the Denali Ensemble. He has performed on several occasions with the New York Wind Soloists Quintet, a group comprised of members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Michael especially enjoys playing chamber works for flute and horn with his wife, Colorado Symphony Piccolo Julie Duncan Thornton.
In addition to performing, Mr. Thornton became a member of the horn faculty at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1999. He has presented masterclasses at conservatories and universities throughout the United States including the Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music, University of Oklahoma, University of Washington, and numerous music camps and horn workshops. Michael has been a brass coach for the Denver Young Artist’s Orchestra and a horn instructor for the Colorado Honor Band. His students have gone on to major conservatories and orchestral positions.
Michael studied at The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music and Temple University. His main teachers have included Jerome Ashby, Randy Gardner, Julie Landsman and J. C. Leuba. Mr. Thornton is a Conn/Selmer artist, and performs on a 300 000 series Elkhart Conn 8D.