Mr. Thor S. Sigurdson

Cello, Violin, Viola, Bass, Piano, Flute, Guitar, Trumpet, Trombone Teacher

Thor Sigurdson

SAA Member


Ann Arbor, MI
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I began playing cello when I was 10 years old. My first teacher was Joseph Glymph, and while in high school I was able to study with the late great cello pedagogue, Karl Fruh.

I received my Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School as one of the last students in the studio of Yo-Yo Ma’s primary cello teachers, Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins. Mr. Robbins also introduced me to the double bass, and I’ve been playing and teaching bass since 2008.

After graduating from Juilliard, I was a Co-Principal Cellist of Michael Tilson Thomas’ New World Symphony for 3 seasons, and then for 13 seasons I was the Associate Principal Cellist of the Florida Philharmonic, finishing my tenure there as Principal Cellist. After 20 years in the orchestral profession, I left music to try marketing, and I also earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Since then I became a father, and I’ve re-entered music as a soloist, teacher and conductor. My plan has been to eventually apply my business skills toward promoting music education.

I studied and performed at many of the top summer festivals including National Music Camp at Interlochen (my birthplace), Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center (two fellowships), National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto Opera Festival (three summers) and Colorado Music Festival.

As a soloist, I was a finalist at the National Society of Arts & Letters Cello Competition, the General Motors National Concerto Competition, and the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.

I currently reside and teach in Ann Arbor, MI, as my wife pursues her PhD in Social Work and Anthropology from Wayne State University. In addition to the SAA, I’m also a current member of ASTA, MTNA, MENC, MMEA, NAfME, LAO, and the AFM. As a veteran recording artist, I’ve played solos on the albums of several well-known artists including Gloria Estefan, Collective Soul, and Extreme. I’m also a voting member of NARAS, which presents the annual Grammy Awards.

In light of the recent pandemic, I started a blog promoting the idea of private music teachers joining the AFM (the musicians union in the US & Canada) so that they can have access to a decent pension and many other important group benefits. Please visit the site at

One more thing: as of early 2023, I’m excited to say that I’m now the owner of a very rare and lovely cello made by the Italian maker Antonio Casini in Modena in 1650. I hope to be posting videos of it soon!

I love meeting new colleagues and parents of prospective students. Hope to hear from you soon!

Thor S Sigurdson
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