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Thomas Nee Papers MSS 609
MSS 609  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Note
  • Preferred Citation

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Thomas Nee Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 609
    Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.0 linear foot 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.
    Creator: Nee, Thomas

    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

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Acquisition Note

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Thomas Nee Papers, MSS 609. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

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