Dr. Thomas M. Cimarusti, Musicologist

August 2017

Thomas M. Cimarusti is an Associate Professor of Musicology at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL. Upon finishing his Bachelors and Masters degrees, he pursued doctoral studies at Florida State University where he defended his dissertation "The Songs of Luigi Gordigiani (1806-1860): 'lo Schuberto italiano'" under Dr. Douglass Seaton, and completed certificates in Early Music (Area of Interest: Music of the Moravian Church, under the direction of Dr. Jeffery T. Kite-Powell), and World Music (Area of Interest: Folk Music of Italy, under the direction of Dr. Dale A. Olsen).

He has taught music courses at Texas Tech University, Florida State University, Brigham Young University, and Utah Valley University, and has presented various lectures in New York, New Mexico, Utah, and Texas. In addition to teaching and research, Thomas has led a summer study abroad program in Italy for the past 5 years and has served on several university committees including the Study Abroad Scholarship Committee, the Vernacular Music Center Scholarship Committee, the University Honors Task Force Committee, and acts as a board member of the Roots Music Institute.  In 2010-2011 he was the recipient of the Hemphill Wells Excellence in Teaching Award, the Mortar Board Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Global Vision Service Award. In 2013 he was awarded the TTU President's Excellence in Diversity and Equity Award.

His interests are in 18th- and 19th-century music, sonata form theory, manuscript/archival studies, folk/world music performance, and the music of Louis Prima.  He has presented papers for international, national, and local conferences including the International Conference on Romanticism, International Conference on Luigi Boccherini, the American Musicological Society, the International Association of Music Libraries, and has chaired sessions at the International Conference on Arts and the Humanities and for a Symposium on Italian Folk Music in honor of Dr. Alan Lomax. In 2011 Thomas completed an edition of Ernst von Dohnányi's Piano Quartet in F# minor for Doblinger Musikverlag and provided a pre-concert lecture for the quartet's North American premiere in New York City. Other publications have appeared in The Organ Encyclopedia and Perspectives on Ernst von Dohnányi. His most recent publication entitled "'Good Old Boccherini': the Reception of Luigi Boccherini's Chamber Music in 19th-Century America" will appear in Boccherini Studies in 2017. Previous publications also include  “Paisiello, Talleyrand e un’ opera ritrovata: Le astuzie amorose” (Proceedings of the International Association of Music Libraries, 2013). Dr. Thomas is currently working on a research guide to the life and music of Louis Prima as well as an article on the music of the communal utopia, the Koreshan Unity.

In addition to his publications, Thomas has designed two online graduate music courses and has annotated on online database of music ephemera contained in the Weiselberg Collection of Music Manuscripts in Texas Tech University’s Special Collections. In 2011 Thomas co-designed the TTU School of Music’s undergraduate Certificate Program in World Music. 

In 2009 Thomas founded TTU's World Music Ensemble, TZUMBA!, a 30-member ensemble exploring and performing the traditional musics from around the world (see World Music Ensemble link). As an avid accordionist, Thomas has studied and performed with legendary accordionist Mr. Dick Contino, and was runner-up in "The Search for the World's Hottest Accordionist" sponsored by the Lawrence Welk Foundation. He has been invited as a guest artist to perform with Chamber Music Amarillo, the Quartz Mountain Music Festival, and the Texas Tech University Symphony Orchestra. He has directed and performed numerous concerts with the TTU Symphony Orchestra, the TTU World Music Ensemble, the TTU Celtic Ensemble, the West Texas Children’s Chorus, and for various university/community events and student recitals. He has also provided original music for two Italian documentaries (Postcards from Italy and Piana) and incidental music for the Lubbock Community Theater's 2011 production of Bernard Pomerance’s play The Elephant Man. His first recording as a guest artist appeared on the jazz album This Side Up (2002) featuring Tomoko Miyata. In 2017 he produced a CD featuring Sicilian folk songs performed by Viviana Natale (organetto) and Maria DeSanctis (tamburello).

Thomas has taught undergraduate and graduate courses Music of the Common Practice Period, Symphonic Literature, Chamber Literature, Music of the Classic and Romantic Periods, Music and War (1860-1945), Music and Culture in Modernizing Italy, and seminars on Beethoven and Mozart. In 2016, he accepted a new position as Associate Professor of Musicology at FGCU in Estero, FL. Along with his responsibilities at the university, Dr. Cimarusti provides numerous lectures on opera, the symphony, and the music of Louis Prima for Big Arts (Sanibel Island), Hodges University (Naples, FL), and the Renaissance Academy (FGCU).

In addition to musicology, Thomas has studied the art of sushi-making at the California Sushi Academy, is a certified scuba diver and salt water aquarium hobbyist, and has hosted annual Bone Marrow Drives in Texas and Utah.