Sunday, April 17, 2016

Adolphus C. Hailstork, Composer Whose Organ, Choral, Opera And Instrumental Works Are Often Performed And Recorded, Turns 75 On April 17, 2016

Adolphus Hailstork
(Provided by Rose Grace)

African Heritage Symphonic Series, Vol II
Epitaph for a Man who Dreamed - In Memoriam: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (7:37)
An American Port of Call
Chicago Sinfonietta
Paul Freeman, Conductor
Cedille 90000 061 (2002)

Adolphus C. Hailstork is an African American composer and professor who was born on April 17, 1941. He was interviewed by William J. Zick on April 13, 2010. The transcript is excerpted on his page at  The late Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma, formerly of Lawrence University Conservatory, writes in the liner notes of African Heritage Symphonic Series, Vol. II; Cedille CDR 90000 061 (2001): “Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork was born in Rochester, New York in 1941, but spent most of his childhood in Albany, where he joined the choir of the Episcopalian cathedral. From this experience he developed an interest in vocal melodic writing that asserts itself not only in his choral works and art songs.”

Adolphus Hailstork attended the public schools of Albany, New York. He says in his interview: “Early on, I took a Music Aptitude Exam given by the school system in New York State where I grew up.” “Apparently they thought I had some aptitude for music. If you do, you wind up getting free instrumental lessons. I started out on the violin by the Fourth Grade, and then switched to Piano and Organ, sang in the Choirs, and that was all my early schooling.” Prof. Hailstork says he improvised for hours on the piano, and decided he should study Composition: “I liked the piano because I could sit and improvise for hours, and that's when I decided I preferred to improvise rather than to practice my scales and arpeggios. That's when I decided 'Hey, maybe I better go on to Composition!' I love making up stuff!” 

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