The Musical World of
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 Manhattan School of Music under Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, at the American Institute at Fountainebleau with Nadia Boulanger, and at Howard University with Mark Fax. Dr. Hailstork has written numerous works for chorus, solo voice, various chamber ensembles, band, and orchestra. Among his compositions are: "Celebration" which, in 1976, was recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; "Out of the Depths", which won the 1977 Belwin-Mills Max Winkler Award presented by the Band Directors National Association; "American Guernica", awarded first prize in a national contest sponsored by the Virginia College Band Directors in 1983; and "Mourn Not the Dead" which received the 1971 Ernest Bloch Award for choral composition. In 1995 the chamber work "Consort Piece" was awarded First Prize by the University of Delaware Festival of Contemporary Music.
During the 1980s Hailstork created three of his largest and most frequently performed choral works: the triptych "Songs of Isaiah", the oratorio "Done Made My Vow", and the cantata "I Will Lift up Mine Eyes". In 1990 a consortium of five orchestras commissioned a piano concerto which was premiered by Leon Bates in 1992. In addition, Dr. Hailstork was commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music to write "Festival Music" for the Baltimore Symphony. Other significant performances by major orchestras (Philadelphia, Chicago and New York) have been led by leading conductors such as James de Priest, Daniel Barenboim and Kurt Masur. In 1999, the composer's second symphony (commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and his second opera, "Joshua's Boots" (commissioned by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Kansas City Lyric Opera), were premiered.
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