Thomas Mesa, cello

Thomas Mesa, Cuban-American cellist, has established himself as one of the most charismatic, innovative, and engaging performers of his generation.  He was the winner of the $50,000 First Prize in the 2016 Sphinx Competition; the Thaviu Competition for String Performance (Chicago, 2013); The Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions; and the Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition. 

He has appeared as soloist with major orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, The Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.  Highlights for the 2021/2022 Season include the world premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Divided for solo cello and orchestra at most major venues across the U.S., the premiere of MIRAGE for cello and orchestra by Andrea Casarrubios with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and curating and performing three of their chamber music concerts, and multiple recording projects released on all streaming platforms. Recently, Thomas was featured as the cover story of the September/October, 2020 issue of Strings Magazine.

As a recitalist, Thomas has been featured at the Mainly Mozart Festival in Miami, The Academy of Arts and Letters, Bargemusic, University of Miami’s Signature Series, Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Columbia University, Flagler Museum, Carnegie Hall, two appearances at the U.S. Supreme Court, guest artist at The Heifetz Institute, California Center for the Arts, Meadowmount School of Music, Strad for Lunch Series, International Beethoven Project, Perlman Music Program Alumni Recital, and major universities across the United States. 

As a recording artist, Thomas has multiple projects in collaboration with PARMA Recordings, including an album called Division of Memory to be released in 2021 on all streaming platforms.  Thomas was featured on the GRAMMY-nominated album, “Bonhoeffer,” with the multiple GRAMMY winning group, The Crossing Choir.  He has appeared with them as soloist at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, Longwood Gardens, The Winter Garden, and the Theological Seminary in NYC.  Thomas and The Crossing Choir have also collaborated on the U.S. premiere of “Astralis” for choir and solo cello by renowned composer Wolfgang Rihm and have more collaborations/premieres scheduled for future seasons. 

As an ensemble musician, Thomas has been on tours with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and is the principal cellist of Sphinx Virtuosi who play every year on tour at almost every major venue across the United States. He is also the cellist of the St. Petersburg Piano Quartet, collaborates with Jupiter Chamber Players, and has toured with Itzhak Perlman both nationally and internationally.

Thomas is cello professor at Purchase Conservatory of Music (SUNY). He has given masterclasses at institutions such as U.C Berkeley, Boston Conservatory, Northwestern University, DePaul University, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, University of Miami, Meadowmount School of Music, Walnut Hill School and has held faculty positions at Sphinx Performance Academy, The Heifetz Institute’s PEG Program, Music Mountain Festival and School, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Montecito International Music Festival, St. Petersburg International Music Academy, The Mozart Academy at John Jay College in New York City. 

Thomas Mesa received his BM from The Juilliard School, MM from Northwestern University, and is a doctoral candidate at Manhattan School of Music. His principal teachers were Timothy Eddy, Julia Lichten, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Mark Churchill, Ross Harbaugh, and Wells Cunningham. He has played a gorgeous cello for ten years made by Richard Tobin that was made in 1820.  This cello was used to record soundtracks for the first movies ever created.