THOMAS BUCKNER ("An extraordinary baritone, a leading vocalist in any 20th century idiom!" The Village Voice) has won a special niche as a leading performer and producer of avant-garde music. A baritone with a wide range of experience in a variety of genres, he is best known for his work with contemporary composers and improvisers. In association with Robert Ashley, he has performed as a lead singer in the opera Atalanta (Acts of God), which toured throughout Europe and the United States, and was recorded on Lovely Music, Ltd. He currently tours with eL/Aficionado (which was written for him by Ashley), Improvement, Foreign Experiences and Now Eleanor's Idea. These four operas were premiered at the Avignon Festival and presented at the Strasbourg Music Festival, the Next Wave Festival in New York and at Site Santa Fe.
Mr. Buckner has worked regularly with the composer Roscoe Mitchell, in his New Chamber Ensemble, which released the critically acclaimed CD, Pilgrimage, on Lovely Music. On the Knitting Factory Works label, he appears as guest vocalist on FirstMeeting, with Roscoe Mitchell and Borah Bergman.
Buckner has also worked with a veritable who's who of established and emerging composers including Alvin Lucier, Jin Hi Kim, Annea Lockwood, Brian Smith, Thurman Barker and Henry Threadgill and had the lead role in David First's new opera Manhattan Book of the Dead which premiered at LaMama in the spring of 1995.
He appeared singing his own composition at the Asian Contemporary Music Festival in South Korea, at the Other Minds Festival in California and at Willow Place in Brooklyn. His two recent solo CDs, Full Spectrum Voice and Sign of the Times, both feature commissioned works and are available on Lovely Music.
Recent performances include Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and the world premiere of Francisco Feliciano's opera Ashen Wings in Manila. He is a member of the improvising quartet, Act of Finding, who have just released a CD on O.O. Discs by the same name.
In Berkeley, California, where he resided from 1967_83, Buckner founded 1750 Arch Concerts, which presented over 100 events a year for eight years, and 1750 Arch Records, which released over 50 record albums. He was vocal soloist and co-director of the 23-piece Arch Ensemble, which performed and recorded the work of 20th Century composers.
Since 1989, he has curated the World Music Institute's "Interpretations" series in New York.
Biography dated January 1996