Virgil Thomson: Creating the American Sound


Dubbed “father of American music” by Aaron Copland, composer/critic Virgil Thomson (1896-1989) is largely unknown to the public. This biography, featuring new and archival music performances, establishes Thomson’s originality, versatility and influence not only as creator of the American classical sound but as an insightful critic of our cultural scene.

Film Clip

About the Director

John Paulson is a long-form documentary writer, producer, and director whose work can often be seen on national public television. He discovered an interest in documentary filmmaking as a high school student living in the Chicago area and went on to earn degrees in media production from Southern Illinois University (BA) and American University in Washington, DC. (MA).  Inspired by such iconic television series as ‘Eyes On The Prize’ and the arts showcase ‘American Masters,’ Paulson charted a career path producing documentaries, and music and biographical specials, first as a staff producer at Smithsonian Productions, the Institution’s media production office, and for the past twenty years as an independent filmmaker.