The musical development of this American composer and critic received much of its force from his association with Gertrude Stein (see Vol. 1) in Paris during the 1920s. Gertrude Stein wrote the libretto for Four Saints in Three Acts (1934), which soon became an American classic. It is a masterpiece of contrast, treating the buffa-like plot with hymnlike seriousness. In 1940 Thomson was appointed music critic of the New York Herald-Tribune. Then in 1948 he received the Pulitzer Prize for his score for the motion picture Louisiana Story. Finally, in 1983 he was awarded the sixth annual Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement. Thomson's music and prose are subtle, humorous, and well crafted, but beneath it all there resides a profound philosophy.