Thomas Heuser, Music Director
American conductor Thomas Heuser has been widely recognized for his stirring leadership and energetic presence both onstage and in the community. Currently he serves as Music Director of the Idaho Falls Symphony in Idaho Falls, Idaho, as well as the San Juan Symphony, an innovative regional orchestra based in Durango, Colorado, and Farmington, New Mexico, that serves the Four Corners. Thomas lives in scenic Durango with his wife, violinist Lauren Avery, and their son Theodore.
Dr. Heuser was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Orchestral Conducting in Germany while serving as a Conducting Fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His Fulbright residency at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München included orchestral performances in Munich and Berlin and his European operatic debut with Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland. Moving from Munich to San Francisco, Thomas enjoyed three seasons as the Principal Guest Conductor of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, working alongside members of the San Francisco Symphony.
Highlights of Heuser’s 2019-20 season include guest conducting engagements with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra as a music director finalist, as well as conducting the top ensembles of the 2020 New Mexico and Alabama All-State Symphony Orchestras. Thomas is a regular guest conductor with Durango’s Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, and he has made subscription appearances with Symphony New Hampshire, the Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and the Wyoming, Missoula, Flagstaff, Illinois, Vallejo, Grand Junction, and Portsmouth Symphony Orchestras, among others.
The son of two molecular biologists at Washington University in St. Louis, Thomas began violin lessons at an early age and studied piano at the St. Louis Symphony Music School. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College and earned his Masters in Instrumental Conducting (MM) from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. In 2013 he completed his Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting (DMA) from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. His primary conducting mentors include Paavo Järvi, Bruno Weil, Mark Gibson, Thomas Baldner, David Effron, Marin Alsop, David Robertson, Gustav Meier, and Larry Rachleff.