Rossen Milanov, Music Director

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David Thomas

David Thomas

Rhoma Berlin Chair

Principal Clarinetist of the Columbus Symphony since 1989, David H. Thomas has had an outstanding career as a soloist as well as an orchestral player. Reviewing his performance of Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concertowith the Columbus Symphony, Jennifer Hambrick said “Thomas slipped in with his first phrase as though entering a dream — quietly, prayerfully… … [with] heartbreakingly intimate playing in the first movement. In the second movement, Rather Fast, Thomas’ technique was flawless, his sound assured… His most-extroverted playing came at the climax in the concerto’s final moments… It was virtuoso playing that, quite rightly, brought the audience to its feet.”

During his previous position as Principal Clarinetist of the Kennedy Center Orchestra in Washington, DC, David was well known in the Washington area for his numerous solo and chamber music recitals. 

Beyond his many appearances as soloist with the Columbus Symphony, Mr. Thomas has performed concertos with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and National Chamber Orchestra. At age 18, he won first prize in competitions sponsored by the International Clarinet Association and Music Teachers National Association. 

Born into a foreign service family, David grew up as a world traveler, living in India and Iran as well as Washington, DC. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, collecting antique quilts, cooking, and gardening.

Reviewing an earlier performance of Rossini’s Introduction, Theme and Variations, the senior critic of the Columbus Dispatch wrote “David Thomas is…the clarinet equivalent of Cecilia Bartoli…I don’t recall a bigger or better reception for any artist, anywhere.” Mark Carrington of The Washington Post wrote about David’s performance of the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the National Chamber Orchestra: “David Thomas…was riveting.”