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Tom Suárez at his studio in the National Conservatory of Music in Jerusalem
Thomas Suárez

A native of New York, Thomas Suárez is a former member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, and several of New York’s chamber ensembles. Over the course of four decades, he held principal positions with the ballet orchestra at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, served as associate concertmaster and principle second violin in the Spoleto Festival in Italy, been artist-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence College, and performed throughout Japan, Southeast Asia, Hawaii, Micronesia, Morocco, and Palestine. While still a student at the Juilliard School, he was one of two subjects in a 1972 film from Luciano Berio’s series, C’è Musica e Musica. Suárez studied with Ivan Galamian, Felix Galimir, Josef Gingold, Louise Behrend, and three members of the Budapest String Quartet. Also a composer, he studied with the American composer Hugh Aitken.

While artist-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence College, Suárez maintained teaching and coaching responsibilities along with regular performances as a member of the College’s resident string quartet. In Hawaii his quartet brought music to underprivileged schools in rural areas of the outer islands as part of the US government’s ‘Head Start’ program. He spent fifteen summers in Japan with an American chamber orchestra whose off-stage activities extended to organizing and training local music students. In Palestine, he was a member of a string trio that gave concerts and ‘hands-on’ workshops with children in West Bank refugee camps. More recently, he held the post of teacher of violin and viola at the Jerusalem branch of Palestine’s Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, coached its student orchestra, and conducted string sectionals. Although Suárez was taught in the ‘old-school’ Western tradition, Shinichi Suzuki, the Japanese mentor whose method revolutionized violin instruction to children on a large scale, selected him as his subject to demonstrate his method on his first trip to the United States in 1966.