T. J. Anderson

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This article is about the composer. For the author, see Thomas J. Anderson.

Thomas Jefferson "T.J." Anderson (born August 17, 1928) is an African-American composer, conductor, orchestrator and educator. He is well known for his orchestration of the Scott Joplin opera, Treemonisha.


Born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Anderson has written over 80 works ranging from operas and symphonies to choral pieces, chamber music, and band music. He has composed commissioned works for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and cellist Yo Yo Ma.

He holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Iowa in 1958,[1] was composer in residence with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1968 to 1971, and is Austin Fletcher Professor of Music Emeritus at Tufts University, a position from which he retired in 1990.[2]

In 1983, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and in 2005, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.[3]

Anderson's son, Thomas J. Anderson, III (who also goes by "T.J."), is a poet and professor of English at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. The younger Anderson is married to Pauline Kaldas, a poet, author, and fellow English professor at Hollins University.


  1. ^ University of Iowa: Alumni & Friends Reunion 2006.
  2. ^ Emeritus Faculty - Tufts Department of Music.
  3. ^ Bates College: Citation for Thomas Jefferson "T.J." Anderson


  • Perkins Holly, Ellistine. Biographies of Black Composers and Songwriters; A Supplementary Textbook. Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1990.

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