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Thomas Dolby retires as musical director of TED Conferences

Posted by: Emily McManus

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Thomas Dolby, TED’s longtime musical director, has retired from his post. Dolby recently returned to recording after a break of nearly two decades, and has been enjoying a personal musical renaissance with the release of his new album, A Map of the Floating City, and a worldwide concert tour.

Over the past 12 years, Dolby helped program great music on the stage of TED — and assembled a wide variety of house bands and collaborations to play onstage between speakers. At TED2010, backed by the string quartet Ethel, he premiered the song “Love Is a Loaded Pistol,” from his sweeping Map of the Floating City (which also inspired an online game and a game of Spot the Lyrics):

Watch more music from Thomas Dolby and friends on TED.com >>

Below, more great photos of Thomas onstage at TED!

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Thomas Dolby introduces the house band at TED2012: Full Spectrum. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

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Thomas Dolby, electronic music pioneer, plays with the TEDGlobal 2010 house band during Session 7: Creatures Great and Small. Photo: James Duncan Davidson / TED

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Introducing the TED2011 house band, TED’s musical director, Thomas Dolby, interviews Gregory Groover Jr., sax, a senior at the Boston Arts Academy, and a member of the Berklee City Music All-Stars. Fellow All-Star Solomon Samson-Hicks, guitar, a student at the Music & Performing Arts High School in New York City, is at far right. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

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Thomas Dolby sings during TEDGlobal 2010. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

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Leading the house band during TEDGlobal 2010. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

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Leading the house band during TEDGlobal 2010. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

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Thomas Dolby performs with Eddi Reader during TEDGlobal 2011. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

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Sporting gold lamé and shades at TED2006.

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At far left, playing with David Byrne with ETHEL at TED2010. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

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Dolby performs with the Radio Science Orchestra and theremin player Lydia Kavina at TEDGlobal 2009. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Lead Image: Thomas Dolby onstage at TED2010. Photo: James Duncan Davidson