Heroic Beethoven Meet the Conductor
Heroic Beethoven Meet the Conductor

On September 21 and 22 in the Lensic, Pro Musica begins a celebratory season honoring our Music Director Thomas O’Connor. As we move toward our 40thseason, Tom is planning to step aside and let a new generation take over. However, before he goes he’s planned a musical season full of his favorites.  For the September concerts Tom will conduct Beethoven’s monumental Eroica Symphony,collaborate with his long-time friend Colin Jacobsen in Korngold’s film-inspired Violin Concerto, and present Julia Adolphe’s Shiver and Bloom, part of Tom’s mission to present women composers.


Meet our conductor, Tom O’Connor

We all know Tom O’Connor is the co-founder, conductor and Music Director of Santa Fe Pro Musica. But did you know that he grew up in Los Alamos? He started on clarinet when he was 10-years-old, though not because he wanted to. His mother (a violinist) wanted him to play the oboe, so he thought that was a good idea. However, the band director said that little Tommy would never stick with it, so instead gave him a clarinet. Tom finally got his way when at the age of 12 he switched to the oboe and was soon appointed principal oboe in the Los Alamos Sinfonietta (now the Los Alamos Symphony). By the age of 15 he was the best student oboist in New Mexico, winning first chair placement in the All-State Orchestra.


After high school, Tom went to the University of New Mexico thinking he’d get a psychology degree, but that didn’t last long. Within a year, he switched to a music major, became principal oboe with the Albuquerque Symphony (later the New Mexico Philharmonic) and then went on to play another 15 years with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra and Chamber Music Festival. He also spent several decades playing oboe in music festivals and performing arts organizations around North America.


After decades of orchestra work, many recordings and a Grammy nomination, Tom began eyeing the conductor’s podium. He had as much orchestral experience as most of the conductors he played under, plus he was managing Pro Musica. As he likes to say, he was tired of driving the bus from the back. He stepped onto the conductor’s podium and began a new chapter. He brings a uniquely refreshing and egalitarian team-member approach to the podium.


And now, Tom is preparing to take another turn on the road of life. His musical life in the rear-view mirror is rich and expansive, but the view around the bend beckons. Stay tuned for further developments, but in the meantime, come celebrate with us, opening September 21 and 22 at the Lensic.


Meet the Music

To learn more about the music, join us one hour before each Pro Musica Lensic concert and hear informative conversations with Music Director Tom O’Connor and the guest artists. Free to ticket holders.


505.988.4640 | sfpromusica.org


Orchestra Series I

Heroic Beethoven

Lensic Performing Arts Center

Saturday, September 21 at 4 PM

Sunday, September 22 at 3 PM


Pro Musica Orchestra

Thomas O’Connor, conductor

Colin Jacobsen, violin


LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55, “Eroica”

JULIA ADOLPHE Shiver and Bloom

ERICH KORNGOLD Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35


Subscriptions and discounts available exclusively through the Pro Musica Box Office.

Tickets range from $20-$100.

Pro Musica Box Office

505.988.4640 | sfpromusica.org



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