Tom Schneller is active as a composer, writer, teacher, and film music researcher. He holds a doctorate in composition from Cornell University, where he studied with Steven Stucky and Roberto Sierra, and a Masters degree in composition from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory. He also studied composition with Hugh Rice at Oxford University, England, and with George Tsontakis at Sarah Lawrence College.
Tom has composed a wide variety of solo, chamber and orchestral works. These have been performed by ensembles such as the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Holland Symphony Orchestra, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, the CSULB Symphony Orchestra, the CCM Philharmonia, and eighth blackbird, and programmed at music festivals including Aspen, Bowdoin, MUSIC 2000, and the 2010 SinusTon Festival for Electronic Music in Magdeburg, Germany. He has collaborated with German thereminist Barbara Buchholz, and his piano music has been played in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East by pianists Xak Bjerken, Bernard Rose, Heather O'Donnell, Thomas Hoppe, and Frédéric Lacroix. Among his awards are a Theodore Presser Award and the Robbins Family Prize for Composition given at Cornell University.
In addition to his work as a concert composer, Tom has scored a number of films for student directors in Cincinnati, New York, Rochester, and Ithaca. In addition, he has collaborated on multimedia and theatre projects at Cornell, the scores of which combined live musicians and electronic music. Tom has participated in several film scoring workshops, including the 2004 NYU-ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop at NYU, the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program with Hummie Mann, and Steven Scott Smalley's workshop "Contemporary Orchestration for Film and Television."
The focus of Tom's academic research has been Hollywood music of the 1950s and 60s. The topic of his dissertation is the music of Bernard Herrmann. His analysis of Herrmann's score for the 1964 Hitchcock film Marnie appears in the current issue of Popular Music History, and his article on the music for Vertigo was published in 2005 in Cuadernos de música, artes visuales y artes escènicas. He has also written several book reviews for The Journal of Film Music. Tom's particular interest in classic film scores has led him to do research at Syracuse University Special Collections, which houses manuscripts by Miklós Rózsa and Franz Waxman, and the Alexander Courage Collection at the Eastman School of Music, where he has studied scores by Hugo Friedhofer, John Williams, and Jerry Goldsmith.
Tom has ten years of teaching experience at the university level. In 2010/2011, he was a visiting assistant professor in music history at Ithaca College, where he taught lecture courses in all periods of western music. At Cornell, he has taught beginning through advanced music theory, as well as a Freshman Writing Seminar in German Studies ("Fairy Tales and the Romantic Imagination: From the Brothers Grimm to Edgar Allan Poe") for the John S. Knight Institute. Additional teaching experience includes a year-long music history survey course (18th through 20th centuries) at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of music, as well as private lessons in composition. Tom lives in Ithaca, NY, with his wife Lenora and his two sons Theo and Julian.
Read a NASO interview with Tom Schneller →