Adolphus Hailstork (b. 1941)
Born in Rochester, New York, Adolphus Hailstork received his doctorate in composition from Michigan State University, where he was a student of H. Owen Reed. He had previously studied at the Manhattan School of Music, under Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, at the American Institute at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger, and at Howard University with Mark Fax.
Dr. Hailstork has written numerous works for chorus, solo voice, piano, organ, various chamber ensembles, band, and orchestra. Among his early compositions are: CELEBRATION, recorded by the Detroit Symphony in 1976, OUT OF THE DEPTHS (1977) and AMERICAN GUERNICA (1983), two band works which won national competitions. CONSORT PIECE (1995) commissioned by the Norfolk Chamber Ensemble was awarded first prize by the University of Delaware Festival of Contemporary Music. In addition he has been awarded two honorary doctorate degrees.
Significant performances by major orchestras (Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York) have been conducted by leading conductors such as James de Priest, Paul Freeman Daniel Barenboim, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, and Jo Ann Falletta.
The composer's second symphony (commissioned by the Detroit Symphony, and second opera, JOSHUA'S BOOTS (commissioned by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Kansas City Lyric Opera) were both premiered in 1999. Hailstork's second and third symphonies have recently been recorded by the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra (David Lockington) and were released on the Naxos label in January 2007
Recent commissions include EARTHRISE, a new large scale choral work premiered by James Conlon and the 2006 Cincinnati May Festival, THREE STUDIES ON CHANT MELODIES for the American Guild of Organists 2006 national convention, and, WHITMAN'S JOURNEY, a cantata for chorus and orchestra which was premiered by the Master Chorale of Washington, D.C. (under Donald McCullough) at Kennedy Center in April 2006. RISE FOR FREEDOM, an opera about the Underground Railroad, was premiered in the fall of 2007 by the Cincinnati Opera Company. SET ME ON A ROCK (re: Hurricane Katrina), also for chorus and orchestra, commissioned by the Houston Choral Society was premiered in 2008. The winter of 2009 saw the premiere of the choral ballet, THE GIFT OF THE MAGI, for treble chorus and orchestra. A work for speaker and orchestra, ZORA, WE'RE CALLING YOU, was premiered in November 2011 by the Orlando Symphony under Chris Wilkins.
Dr. Hailstork resides in Virginia Beach Virginia, and is Professor of Music and Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.