Theodore Thomas was born at Esens, East Friesland, October 11, 1835, and died in Chicago, January 4, 1905.
He received very irregular musical instruction, but was taught to play the violin by his father.
In 1845 the family came to New York, and Thomas soon became associated with various musical matters in the city.
Six year later he went on tour as a concert soloist, eventually appearing with Lind, Grisi, Sontag, Mario, etc.
His association with Mason, and the formation of the Mason-Thomas soirees were of great benefit to the musical development of New York, and at the same time Thomas organized orchestral concerts which were highly successful. He also conducted the Cincinnati Festivals with marked success.
In 1878 he became president of the Cincinnati College of Music, but two years later he became conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra in New York.
In 1888 he was induced to leave New York for Chicago, where he was appointed head of the conservatory in that city.
Theodore Thomas became conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and carried out such excellent work that the orchestra has remained a lasting memorial of his genius.
The work he did for music in American was almost of incalculable benefit to the country, and his name will always be associated with those other pioneers of music, such as Lowell Mason, Dr. William Mason, Professor Paine and others who have done so much toward musical development in America.