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Thomas Ludwig - composer & Conductor

Thomas Ludwig, called “America's newest symphonist” by Symphony Magazine, is the founder and the music director of The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra and the Beethoven Chamber Orchestra in Atlanta. Hailed as "a prodigiously gifted conductor with a superb baton technique," Maestro Ludwig has conducted The London Symphony Orchestra, The Prague Chamber Orchestra, The Sichuan Broadcasting Orchestra in China, The Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina in Italy, OFUNAM in Mexico City, and the Cairo Symphony in Egypt.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, he began violin studies at the age of four and soon studied with the legendary Mischa Mischakoff. He continued studies in New York with a full scholarship at the Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and
viola with Paul Doktor. In 1972, at the age of twenty, Mr. Ludwig was appointed music director and conductor of the New York City Symphony. Critics noted at a Lincoln Center performance, that "Mr. Ludwig secured brilliant performances of Beethoven and Strauss from a splendid young ensemble." His early conducting lessons included studies with Leonard Bernstein and the great European conductor Maestro Herbert von Karajan.   Over the past three decades, Ludwig has maintained a dual career as both conductor and composer.

Thomas Ludwig has served as the music director and principal conductor of the New York City Symphony and as resident conductor for American Ballet
Theatre and Mikhail Baryshnikov at the Metropolitan Opera House. He was also a guest conductor with Stars of the New York City Ballet, the Chicago Ballet, the Washington Ballet, and recorded with the Odessa Philharmonic.

Equally accomplished as a composer, he has produced distinguished concert music for a variety of commissions among them: Six Symphonies, a Violin Concerto, a Piano Concerto, a String Symphony, "Cocoanuts" Overture Fantasie, Four Songs for Coloratura Soprano and orchestra, Four Lyric Songs for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, and Four Songs for Tenor and Orchestra. Among his chamber music works are a Piano Quartet and Woodwind Quintet. The New York Times and The Washington Post call his music “skillful in its control of form...an eloquent masterpiece...a masterful message in the language of music.” Recordings of his music appear on National Public Radio (NPR), Voice of America, WNYC, WGMS, and Radio Grupo in Central and South America.

A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City and a prize winner of the Kennedy Center Freidheim Awards and the Indianapolis Symphony Composer's Competition, his works have been performed by world renowned orchestras at Lincoln Center in New York City, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., China, Tokyo, London, Italy, Moscow, and Mexico City. His Symphony No. 1 was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra (Albany Records) and the Louisville Symphony Orchestra (First Edition label) and published by G. Schirmer in New York. His Symphony No. 2 “Child of the Zona Rosa” was commissioned by the Orchestra Philharmonic de la UNAM and was a prick of conscience for the young children of poverty living in Mexico City. The Ludwig Violin Concerto was inspired by the
heroism of the young students of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. His Symphony No. 3 is a large neo-romantic canvas dedicated to the forgotten young soldier facing an implacable foe in a heroic yet perhaps-futile cause. Because of a chance childhood meeting of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at a church, he has felt deeply for the suffering of innocent people. One of Thomas Ludwig’s earliest works was a symphonic tone poem called “Cambodia” in remembrance of the holocaust that occurred there.

His recent projects included a recording of the three Schmelzer Symphonies, conducting the Prague Chamber Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. He also presented Stravinsky's Firebird Suite for the first time ever in China along with the Chinese premiere of his Cocoanuts Overture Fantasie with the Sichuan Broadcasting Orchestra. A recent world premiere of his "Quatro Lyricas Canciones"; for soprano and orchestra in Mexico City was broadcast to 250 million people live in a performance by the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria.  

Mr. Ludwig is a member of Broadcast Music Inc. Now in his twenty-fifth season as Music Director of the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra and the Beethoven Chamber Orchestra, he has enriched and expanded its repertoire through his characteristically innovative programming, and elevated the ensemble to new levels of international prominence and acclaim. In addition to his demanding performance schedule, Thomas Ludwig is a strong advocate for music education. Thomas Ludwig makes his home in Atlanta.


“America's newest symphonist”
”…the symphony is vividly orchestrated, possesses tremendous emotional intensity, and yet is succinct
and skillful in its control of form.”

“Ludwig's eloquent masterpiece...a masterful message in the language of music.”

"Compensation came with Thomas Ludwig's grandly graded treatment of the Tschaikovsky score."

“music that is beautifully crafted and orchestrationally excellent...the violin concerto is fabulous.” 

“A powerful symphony for soprano and orchestra...quatros lyricas canciones.”

“Strikingly passionate, lush, and lyrical…”

“...the symphony has a finely crafted Adagio, dark in hue and surging in lyrical restlessness and shows great dexterity in scoring and solo instrument colors.” 

“Thomas Ludwig's violin concerto is one of the most powerful works of recent years. His music is passionately lyrical and deeply affecting. The structure has epic dimensions but it is justified by the seriousness and spirituality of the inner content.”

“An excellent violin concerto with impressively colorful orchestration and brilliant musical possibilities for the soloist...the second movement a beautiful pastorale…”

“Ludwig seems to possess the unique qualities necessary for great writing, a complete knowledge of orchestration, texture, balance, and probably most important of all, the terrific originality and imagination in his music which made such an impact on the members of the London Symphony Orchestra.”