Obituary: Composer & Conductor Thomas Sleeper Dies at 66

By Afton Wooten

American composer and conductor Thomas Sleep (1956-2022) passed away on Oct. 15.

Sleeper’s passing was due to complications with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) which he was diagnosed with in 2019.

The accomplished musician produced a large body of works. His most notable works include the “One Water” film score, his eight-part opera “Einstein’s Inconsistency,” and “Symphony No. 5 ‘chamber symphony.'” He is also featured on many classical music recordings.

Sleeper was a faculty member at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and conductor of the Frost Symphony Orchestra. He was a guest conductor at the Central Philharmonic of China, San Juan (Argentina) Symphony Orchestra, Ruse State Philharmonic, and the China-Wuhan Symphony where he served as Artistic Advisor from 1993-2020.

Sleeper was a member of the Cherokee Tribe (Blind Savannah Clan). He is survived by his wife and four children.