Thomas Koch is the Director of Guitar Studies for the VPA program at Booker High School. Thomas was born and raised in Germany, where he received his BA in Music Education from the Hochschule für Musik Köln and his MA in Music Performance from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover. Furthermore, he studied with Maestro Alberto Ponce at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France.
Prior to his arrival in the United States, Thomas taught guitar at two music conservatories in Germany. He performed solo recitals in many European cities, including Paris and Berlin. Thomas gave his New York City debut in 1993 (Carnegie Recital Hall) followed by a solo recital at the German Embassy Auditorium in Washington DC. Thomas performed the Concierto d’Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo with the Port Charlotte Symphony and Venice Symphony Orchestra. Other soloist performances include the 1st Concerto for guitar and orchestra by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Sarasota Pops Orchestra), Concerto in D by Antonio Vivaldi (Anna Maria Community Orchestra) and the world premiere performance of Concerto Brilliante by Rex Willis (North Port Symphony).
Thomas established himself as an inspirational teacher of the classical guitar in Sarasota. His students were admitted to many colleges and universities in the country: Manhattan School of Music, Yale School of Music, Florida State University, Stetson University and others. Thomas was the founding president of GuitarSarasota Inc., a highly successful cultural arts, nonprofit organization in support of the classical guitar. He commissioned new music for solo guitar and chamber music for flute, viola and guitar. Thomas recorded two solo CDs entitled “Souvenir de Paris” and “The Lost Giuliani Files”. Thomas is on the Booker High School VPA faculty since 2002.