Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Thomas Nee Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 609
Mandeville Special Collections Library
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Language of Material:
1.0 linear foot
3 archives boxes and 1 oversize box
Date (inclusive): 1946 - 2001
The papers of Thomas Nee, conductor and University of California, San Diego emeritus professor of music, include correspondence
and biographical materials related to his fifty years of classical and experimental music conducting.
Scope and Content of Collection
The papers of Thomas Nee, conductor and emeritus professor of music, contains correspondence from twentieth century composers
including university mentor Ernst Krenek, as well as composers Henry Brant, Robert Erickson, Dika Newlin, Will Ogden, Pauline
Oliveros, Bernard Rands, Roger Reynolds, and Dane Rudhyar. The papers also also contains biographical materials, including
programs and newsclippings, reflecting his conducting career from 1948-2001, writings, and audio visual materials. The recorded
materials represent concerts Nee conducted during his career. The collection is arranged in four series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE,
2) CONDUCTING EXPERIENCE, 3) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, and 4) AUDIO VISUAL RECORDINGS.
Born in Evanston, Illinois on Oct. 25, 1920, Thomas Nee graduated from the University of Minnesota. Following service in the
Merchant Marine during World War II, he received his masters of arts from Hamline University, where he studied under composer
Ernst Krenek. His postgraduate work included studies at the University of Vienna, the Austrian State Academy, and Black Mountain
College with composer Stefan Wolpe in North Carolina, as well as private study with conductor Hermann Scherchen in Switzerland.
Nee was music director for the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis from 1954-1967 and 1972-1973.
In 1967, Nee joined the UCSD Music Department, accepted the position of conductor, taught music, and served as department
chair from 1971-1977. He also conducted SONOR, a resident ensemble that performed experimental music by UCSD composers. In
addition to conducting the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus during the academic year, he also conducted the New Hampshire Music
Festival during the summer months from 1960-1992. Nee conducted world premieres of contemporary repertoire and numerous guest
engagements including opera workshops, festivals, the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Eastman Philharmonic,
Rochester Philharmonic, and Darmstadt Ferienkurse.
Nee retired from UCSD in 1991, but remained active until his death in 2008, overseeing the Tom Nee Commission, awarded each
year to a graduate-level composer whose new piece is performed each spring by La Jolla Symphony & Chorus.
The audio and visual recordings in Box 3, Folders 1-3 are restricted and require a user copy to be produced.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Thomas Nee Papers, MSS 609. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Erickson, Robert, 1917-1997
Krenek, Ernst, 1900-1991
Nee, Thomas -- Archives
Ogdon, Will, 1921-
Oliveros, Pauline, 1932-
Partch, Harry, 1901-1974
Reynolds, Roger, 1934-
Rudhyar, Dane, 1895-1985
Music -- 20th century