1896-1989

"I've never known a musician who regretted being one. Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, music itself is not going to let you down."

In 1934, Thomson premiered the queerest opera ever staged, 4 Saints In 3 Acts, a collaboration between a closeted gay composer and extroverted lesbian poet Gertrude Stein. The premier featured an all-Black cast  & was produced by the sardonically titled Friends & Enemies Of Modern Music.

Thomson became a sort of mentor and father figure to a new generation of American tonal composers such as Ned Rorem, Paul Bowles and Leonard Bernstein, a circle united as much by their shared homosexuality as by their similar compositional sensibilities.  [link]

An old photo of a young Virgil Thomson with big eyes and a side-parted short wavy hairdo.