St. Christopher's Episcopal Church

Haskell Thomson


Haskell Thomson, Emeritus Professor, Oberlin Conservatory, began his career as a young pianist and organist in Colorado Springs and served as organist/choirmaster at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Manitou Springs at the age of 16. He exchanged daily views of Pike’s Peak for the “flatlands” of Oberlin, Ohio in the fall of 1954 in order to develop his rapidly blossoming career as a musician. As a student at Oberlin he served Christ Episcopal Church as organist/choirmaster until his graduation in Piano Performance and Organ Performance in 1958. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and spent the postgraduate year studying at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and concertizing in various locations in Denmark. Upon completion of his Fulbright year he entered Yale University for his graduate studies, serving the North Church on the Green. Following graduation from Yale he was invited to return to Oberlin and join the faculty as professor of organ. What might have been a short stay stretched to 42 years! During the last 12 years of his tenure there, he served as Director of the Keyboard Division.

Aside from his busy teaching career at Oberlin, Haskell concertized throughout the US, Europe, and Japan, playing in such venues as Westminster Abbey, Queen’s College, Oxford, Bern Cathedral in Switzerland, St.-Sulpice and St. Francois De Sales in France, the Cathedrals in Lisbon and Braga in Portugal, the NHK Concert Hall in Tokyo as well as the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. He was also in high demand as a clinician and leader of master classes throughout the country.

Haskell served on the Board of Trustees of the Cape Cod Symphony and Conservatory of Music from 2008–2017. Following retirement from Oberlin, Haskell taught at Yale as a sabbatical replacement for the University Organist, Thomas Murray. Subsequently he was brought in to teach and to hold seminars on subjects related to the field of organ study.