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Thomas Giles

Thomas Giles
Brass & Woodwinds - Saxophone

Teaching Statement:

Your artistry—if cultivated carefully—will manifest far beyond the stage. The aim should always be toward autonomy: interpretive acumen, general self-awareness, and cognizance of your own power to make decisions in real time. In the pursuit of your craft, it is essential to scrutinize details and develop technique. But it is of parallel importance to clearly define what you find meaningful and ensure you have the tools necessary to pursue it, professionally.

In lessons, I introduce a wealth of practical fundamentals to serve your playing for a lifetime. I strive to ask questions you haven’t considered, which invite you to grow in ways you hadn’t expected. It is my hope that you will gain the ability to hear your own voice more clearly, adjust effectively, and play with greater freedom.


Described as “breathtaking” (New York Music Daily), “insanely clever” (ClassicFM, United Kingdom), and “full of crystalline clarity” (Südkurier, Germany), Thomas Giles performs the music of our time with curiosity, imagination, and unwavering conviction. To date Giles has premiered more than 200 new works—many of which are dedicated to him. Recent premieres include works by Augusta Read Thomas, Marc Mellits, and Nicola LeFanu. Giles has enjoyed working closely with many leading composers e.g., Meredith Monk, David Lang, Charles Wuorinen, and the American indie-rock duo Wye Oak. His growing body of solo repertoire hones a fascination with simultaneity and the multi limbic capacities of a single-wind performer.

As a collaborator, Giles is a founding member of the Telos Consort, an ensemble-in-residence at the 92nd Street Y School of Music. He has performed with the London Royal Opera Co., New York City Opera Orchestra, Opera Parallèle, Ensemble Échappé, Metropolis Ensemble, Contemporaneous, New World Symphony, Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, and from 2012-2022 held the baritone chair of the critically acclaimed MANA Quartet. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Roulette Intermedium, Constellation, SFJAZZ, and internationally at Bachfest Leipzig, Heidelberg Kulturzentrum, Münster Musikhochschule, Szczecin International Saxophone Festival, Utrecht Bartholomeus Gasthuis, and the Citè de la Musique de Strasbourg.  

A devoted teacher, Giles is Artist-Teacher of Saxophone at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and on faculty at the Aaron Copland School of Music – Queens College and the 92nd Street Y School of Music. Past faculty positions include SUNY Fredonia’s School of Music, Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He has given clinics, lectures, and performances on campuses across the nation, including Harvard, Princeton, Manhattan School of Music, NYU Steinhardt, UC Davis, and Miami’s Frost School of Music. He has held teaching residencies at the Arts Academy of Szczecin (Poland), Landesgymnasium für Musik in Dresden (Germany), and as orchestral saxophonist for the National Music Festival, 2013-2017. Giles is a D’Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist and a graduate of Florida State University (Doctor of Music, 2016).