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Thomas J. DeLio

Thomas DeLio Profile Photo

Professor, Music Theory & Composition

(301) 405-5534

1110C The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
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Research Expertise

Computer Music
Music Theory & Composition
Postmodern and Contemporary

Thomas DeLio is a composer and theorist, internationally renowned in both fields. He has composed music for soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestra, and is especially noted for his work in computer music. His compositions have been performed worldwide and are recorded on numerous labels including Wergo (Germany), 3D Classics (France), Neuma, Centaur, Capstone, ERMMedia and Spectrum. His music is published in the US by Neuma and Sonic Art Editions, and, in Italy, by Semar Editore

He has published over thirty-five essays in such journals as The Journal of Music TheoryPerspectives of New MusicInterfaceArtforumContemporary Music Review (London), Revue d'Esthetique (Paris) and MusikText (Cologne).  A number of his essays have been anthologized, and translated into German, French and Italian. His books include Circumscribing the Open Universe (University Press of America; Italian translation, Semar Editore, Rome), The Music of Morton Feldman (Greenwood Press), and The Amores of John Cage (Pendragon Press). He has participated in conferences, festivals and residencies throughout the world.

A book about his work, entitled Essays on the Music And Theoretical Writings of Thomas DeLio was published by The Edwin Mellen Press (2008).  It contains essays by leading composers and scholars from Europe and the United States. Contributors to this volume include: Herman Sabbe, Professor, Ghent State University (Belgium); Robert Morris, Professor, Eastman School of Music; Agostino di Scipio, Professor, University of Bari (Italy); Christopher Shultis, Regents Professor, University of New Mexico; Wesley Fuller, Professor Emeritus, Clark University; Morris Palter, Professor, University of Alaska.  A companion volume entitled Thomas DeLio: Collected Essays Vol. I (1980-2000) was published by the Mellen Press in 2016.

In 2011 The University of Maryland Special Collections Division established a new archive, The Thomas DeLio Papers. This archive will hold Professor DeLio’s sketches and manuscripts for his music, books and essays; master tapes from numerous recording sessions; journal articles, books CDs and DVDs. In addition, it will hold his correspondence, including, letters from such composers, poets and artists as Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Morton Feldman, Elliott Carter, Sol LeWitt, P. Inman, among others. Eventually, all his teaching materials will also be held in this collection as well as work by his students in both theory and composition.

Click here to visit Thomas DeLio’s personal homepage. 

About Thomas DeLio

"...among the most significant experimental composers of his generation, a composer whose rooted in every detail of the sonic experience... "
Christopher Shultis, Regents' Professor of Music, University of New Mexico

"Well over two decades of my listening life have been immeasurably graced by live and recorded performances of the music of Thomas DeLio."
Wesley Fuller, Professor Emeritus, Clark University

"Thomas DeLio engages and illuminates the world of Peter Inman's poetry in his music as passionately as Robert Schumann does Heinrich Heine's, and in this way he situates himself among the great art song composers... the listener lingers in many thresholds: between sound and silence; between the poet's voice and the composer's composition; between a recording as a composition in and of itself, rather than a recording as a representation of a performance; between a work of art being made and a work of art completed. At a carefully constructed intersection of the musical, the visual, and the literary, DeLio and Inman create a liminal space that is its own genre, a potent world of constant imminence that extends the tradition of art song beyond its tradition of poetic representation and illumination."
Linda Dusman, Chair, Professor of Music, The University of Maryland Baltimore County

"...a musicologist with a vision, a musicologist not in the least apprehensive of tackling music that would have seemed to most quite out of reach of any analytical method...when I came to know DeLio's own music, I found that it revealed the same sense of wondering at the world."
Herman Sabbe, Professor of Musicology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and Ghent University



New Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1999-2000 edition).

Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (Eighth Edition), p. 412. Wikipidia entry for Thomas DeLio created December 2006.