This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Hudson Valley Philharmonic Debuts Wilson Symphony

On Saturday, May 7, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic (HVP) will feature the world premiere of Richard Wilson’s Symphony No. 3 at the Poughkeepsie’s Bardavon 1869 Opera House, the oldest continuously operating theater in New York State and one of the oldest in the country. Wilson is a professor of music at Vassar and the composer-in-residence at the American Symphony Orchestra. He studied piano and cello at the Cleveland Music School Settlement, graduated Phi Betta Kappa from Harvard, and received the Frank Huntington Beebe Award, which allowed him to further study piano in Munich and composition in Rome.

Wilson—who celebrates his 70th birthday eight days after the premier—has had a relationship with the HVP for more than 40 years. In 1970 he conducted the group in performances of Initiation: Music for Full Orchestra, which he composed at the request of HVP’s first music director, Claude Monteux. Wilson had joined the Vassar faculty four years earlier, in 1966.

To date he has composed more than 100 works, ranging from solo tuba to full orchestra, and including five string quartets. His first opera, Aethelred the Unready, made its debut at Vassar in January as part of the college’s Sesquicentennial celebrations and the 9th annual Modfest.

In addition to Wilson’s Symphony No. 3, the program for this month’s event at the Bardavon also includes Mozart’s Concerto for Oboe and Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony. –Peter Bronski

Learn more about the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and the Bardavon.

Photo Courtesy Dominique Nabokov

May 2011

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