William P. Blair III Endowed Chair
Brian Thornton, a native of Colorado, became a member of the cello section of The Cleveland Orchestra at the beginning of the 1994-95 season. As cellist and conductor, he has performed in hundreds of venues across the world, from The White House in Washington D.C. to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing,China. He has performed as a soloist with more than 30 orchestras across the United States, as well as in many chamber music collaborations with different ensembles. With his special interest in modern music has led him to premier works by composers including Donald Erb and John Adams. Mr. Thornton has taken part in premiering more than 100 new works of music as a soloist or in chamber ensembles, as well as participating in many Cleveland Orchestra premieres. He especially enjoys taking part in concerts that benefit special causes, including the Muscular Dystrophy Society, and took part in concerts in Cleveland for the Red Cross for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan. Brian has been a Yamaha Artist since 2010, and makes frequent trips to Japan to teach and play audience engagement concerts there. Brian Thornton and his wife, Jennifer Woda, a mezzo-soprano, have two daughters, Maya and Madelyn.