Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Nee (Thomas) Papers
MSS 0609  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Note
  • Publication Rights
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Restrictions

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Thomas Nee Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0609
    Physical Description: 1 Linear feet (3 archives boxes and 1 oversize box)
    Date (inclusive): 1946-2001
    Abstract: 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.

    Preferred Citation

    Thomas Nee Papers, MSS 609. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Note

    Acquired 2003, 2010.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    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.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Music -- 20th century
    Composers -- Correspondence
    Ogdon, Will, 1921-2013 -- Correspondence
    Oliveros, Pauline, 1932-2016 -- Correspondence
    Rands, Bernard -- Correspondence
    Krenek, Ernst, 1900-1991 -- Correspondence
    Partch, Harry, 1901-1974 -- Correspondence
    Nee, Thomas -- Archives
    Erickson, Robert, 1917-1997 -- Correspondence
    Reynolds, Roger, 1934- -- Correspondence
    Cage, John -- Correspondence
    Rudhyar, Dane, 1895-1985 -- Correspondence