Dennis Thurmond is a master of free improvisation both in the classical and jazz realms. His signature performances and lectures feature his creation of improvised works in historic styles ranging from Czerny to present day. A classical and jazz pianist, as well as a keyboard synthesist, he is the author of Tai Chi of Improvisation, and co-author of Improvisation: A Systematic Approach for the Classical Pianist.
Mr. Thurmond was Director of Electro-Acoustic Media and Associate Professor of Keyboard Studies at the Thornton School of Music at University of Southern California until his early retirement in 2010. He was also the chairman of the music synthesis department and keyboard program at the Berklee College of Music and Teaching Fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies. He has served on the summer faculty at the Utrecht Conservatory in the Netherlands.
He was a studio musician in NYC for many years, and his keyboard performance and technical background has included playing synthesizer for the Boston Pops, keyboards for the New York Vocal Jazz Ensemble, being production arranger for the Gospel Review for Symphony Orchestra with Della Reese and Billy Preston, studio pianist for the television series Party of Five and ROM card designer for Kawai Japan.
He tours world-wide, and currently lives on a farm in Tennessee.