Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Adolphus C. Hailstork, African American Composer (b. 1941)

[Adolphus Hailstork: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3; Grand Rapids Symphony; David Lockington, conductor; Naxos 8.559295 (2007)]

Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork is an African American composer and professor who was born on April 17, 1941 in Rochester, New York and is profiled at He received a Bachelor of Music degree from Howard University in 1963. He subsequently attended the Manhattan School of Music, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition in 1965 and a Master of Music degree in Composition in 1966. During the Summer of 1963 Hailstork studied in France at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger.

He served in the U.S. Armed Forces in Germany from 1966-68, then attended Michigan State University, where he obtained a Ph.D. in 1971. Hailstork has been on the faculties of Youngstown State University, Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University.
Hailstork's musical The Race for Space was performed at Howard University in 1963, when he was in his senior year. Statement, Variations and Fugue was his master's thesis and was performed by the Baltimore Symphony in 1966, according to the Presser site. The composer has employed a wide range of forms and styles.

Adolphus Hailstork: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 was recorded by the Grand Rapids Symphony, led by David Lockington, conductor, as part of the series American Classics, Naxos 8.559295 (2007). Bob McQuiston reviewed the CD for Classical Lost and Found, February, 2007: “These two symphonies by American composer Adolphus Hailstork (b. 1941) are well worth calling to your attention. Written in the last ten years, they're both in the standard four movements and fall into the late romantic category. They're full of those wonderful western sounding rhythms and themes so typical of American composers like Virgil Thomson, Aaron Copland and Don Gillis.”

Another recording is Celebration! (3:16), Black Composers Series, Sony Music Custom Marketing Group DSO-1111 (2002). Paul Freeman conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a 1976 recording of Celebration! as part of the historic CBS Black Composers Series. Epitaph for a Man who Dreamed - In Memoriam: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (7:37), and An American Port of Call (8:32), are found on the CD African Heritage Symphonic Series, Vol. II, Cedille 90000 061 (2002). Both works were recorded by the Chicago Sinfonietta under the direction of Paul Freeman, conductor. Hailstork's Symphony No. 1 (23:10), can be heard on Symphonic Brotherhood, Troy 104 (1993). Julius P. Williams, conductor, leads the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic.

Adolphus+Hailstork" rel="tag">Adolphus Hailstork
Black+Composers" rel="tag">Black Composers
African+American" rel="tag">African American
African+Heritage" rel="tag">African Heritage
American+Classics" rel="tag">American Classics
Naxos+Symphonies" rel="tag">Naxos Symphonies

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