Interview Date: June 29, 2016
Conservatory Affiliation: Piano Alumna, ‘64
Interviewer: Tessa Updike, Archivist

Pianist Marilyn Thompson received her Bachelor's Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she was a student of Adolph Baller. She was awarded a Fulbright grant to the Vienna Academy of Music, and subsequently received her Master's Degree from Stanford University, where she studied under the Helen Evans Memorial Scholarship - a full-tuition grant. While at Stanford, she gave the West Coast Premiere of Roger Sessions' Piano Concerto. She has given countless recitals in the United States and abroad, and has been the featured soloist in concerti of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Martinu, Hindemith, Barber and others. She has performed virtually the entire standard chamber music repertoire. Her recordings include performances of the Thomas Beversdorf Cello sonata, the Brahms Trio Op.87, and Ravel's Violin-Piano Sonate. Miss Thompson has performed in chamber music concerts in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center; the 92nd Street "Y" in New York City; the Philip's Gallery, Washington D.C.; Boston's Symphony Hall; Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco; and most recently in the Teatro Nacional, San Jose, Costa Rica. In the 1980's she was the pianist member of the Chamber Soloists of San Francisco and the San Francisco Trio. In 2010 she toured China with the American Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Gerswhin's Piano Concerto if F. At the present time Miss Thompson is the pianist of the Navarro Trio, a group which performs frequently throughout the Bay Area. Marilyn Thompson has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; the College of Holy Names, Oakland, California; at the University of California at Santa Cruz; and is presently on the faculty of Sonoma State University where she has taught since 1976.

Transcript PDF

Transcript Topics

Early musical inspirations
Early music lessons
Lessons with Adolph Baller
Ortega Street building
Boarding house and student life
Other teachers at the Conservatory
Adolph Baller’s life
A year in Vienna
Teaching at Sonoma State
Conductors
Ensembles
Advice to young musicians

Audio

Early years

Music lessons

Boarding house

Adolph Baller

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