|Industry Leadership Award 2009 - Thomas Humphrey|
For more than thirty years, Thomas Humphrey's instruments have been an integral part of the concert scene. Humphrey's signature Millennium model helped to revolutionize guitar builders' approach to projection and sustain. His techniques and innovations have influenced countless luthiers, and helped to establish him as one of the foremost personalities in the guitar world.
Thomas Humphrey was born in St. Joseph Township, Minnesota in 1948. In 1970, he moved to New York City and apprenticed with Michael Gurian. Early in his career, Mr. Humphrey developed his instruments and clientele from an apartment and workshop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In addition to his guitar making, Humphrey underwrote a performance series, and encouraged the development of many young guitarists. His Millennium model was first created in 1985, and was quickly embraced by many leading concert artists, and has proved to be a highly influential and enduring design.
Mr. Humphrey's instruments have been heard in countless concert halls and recordings, by guitarists such as Sergio and Odair Assad, Sharon Isbin, Eliot Fisk, Micheal Newman, Laura Oltman, David Starobin, David Tanenbaum, Bruce Holzman, Adam Holzman, Tom Johnson, Dominic Frasca, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Lily Afshar, Roberto Aussel, and many, many others.
Thomas Humphrey died in April, 2008 in Gardiner, N.Y.