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Meet Our Music Director

Music Director Thomas Heuser by Allison Ragsdale Photography

American conductor Thomas Heuser has been widely recognized for his stirring leadership and energetic presence both onstage and in the community. He has served as Music Director of the San Juan Symphony since 2016, and is entering his 12th season as Music Director of the Idaho Falls Symphony, a regional professional orchestra that serves southeast Idaho and western Wyoming. Thomas lives in scenic Durango with his wife, violinist Lauren Avery, and their eight-year-old 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.

After conducting a successful Mid-Winter concert with the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming, Thomas was invited back as a Cover Conductor for Sir Donald Runnicles and the 2022 GTMF Festival Orchestra. He has been a regular guest conductor with Durango’s Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, and served as guest conductor for the top ensembles of the 2020 All-State Festival Orchestras in Alabama and New Mexico. Among a variety of diverse engagements, Thomas has given subscription concert debut performances with the Lexington Philharmonic, Symphony New Hampshire, the Boise Baroque Orchestra, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and the Illinois, Wyoming, Bozeman, Missoula, Flagstaff, 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 as a piano performance major 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.

For more information please visit www.thomasheuser.com.

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