Thor Sigurdson

Thor Sigurdson, Cellist & Conductor

Described as "red-hot" by Chicago Classical Review, cellist Thor Sigurdson has been thrilling audiences worldwide over the past four decades with his unmistakably committed performances. The New York Times has singled him out for his "evocative, poised playing", and Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel has exclaimed, "Sigurdson is a dynamic player. He carves out phrases passionately. His technique is more than respectable; his tone is juicy."

Sigurdson received his bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School as one of the final students of the great Leonard Rose. He also pursued conducting at Juilliard as a student of Ronald Braunstein, and as frequent auditor of the conducting classes of Jorge Mester and Otto Werner Muller. Upon graduation, he was among the first cellists selected by Michael Tilson Thomas to perform in Miami's celebrated New World Symphony, an ensemble with which he performed and toured internationally for three seasons. He was subsequently hired as Associate Principal Cellist of the Florida Philharmonic, a post he held for 13 years, finishing his tenure as Principal Cellist. Over his 25-year orchestral career, he performed under dozens of legendary maestros, including Leonard Bernstein, Sir Georg Solti, and Seiji Ozawa. And as a soloist and chamber musician, he was a finalist in both the National Society of Arts and Letters Cello Competition and the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition. In addition to his vast musical background, Sigurdson also forged a brief but successful business career, culminating with his earning an MBA from the prestigious University of Chicago.

Throughout his life, Sigurdson has always been a passionate advocate for young musicians, and he currently maintains a full teaching roster of both cello and double bass students. His past pupils have gone on to successful careers in both music performance and music education. He's also an experienced orchestral conductor, and he dedicates himself to working closely with school and youth orchestras wherever his career leads him. In pursuit of future conducting opportunities, he conducted all four Brahms symphonies as a participant in the 2021 International Conducting Workshop and Festival held in Lviv, Ukraine.

Sought after as a superb studio musician, Sigurdson's cello solos have been featured on albums by Gloria Estefan, Extreme, Collective Soul, Zakk Wylde, Plácido Domingo, and many others. For over 20 years he's had the honor of being a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which presents the annual Grammy Awards. His own debut recording of favorite cello solos with harpist Nichole Young, entitled After a Dream, is now available.

Sigurdson’s love of the music of Haydn is evident in the ventures he’s created around this musical giant, specifically his past chamber orchestra, the Haydn Society of Florida, and his all-new student chamber music program currently being crafted in Ann Arbor, HaydnSEEK. Sigurdson is particularly inspired by Haydn’s celebrated reputation as a musical innovator and entrepreneur, and it is among his greatest life goals to combine his own business skills with his passion for music education to create a dynamic brand of educational programming and resources that is also to be called HaydnSEEK, in homage to Papa Haydn.

After recently relocating his family to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his wife is earning a PhD in Anthropology, Sigurdson is excited to be pursuing his solo career in earnest. In between concerts he remains committed to training young musicians throughout the Detroit area.