Albright, William (Hugh)

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Albright, William (Hugh)

Albright, William (Hugh), American pianist, organist, teacher, and composer; b. Gary, Ind., Oct. 20, 1944; d. Ann Arbor, Sept. 17, 1998. He studied with Rosetta Goodkind (piano) and Hugh Aitken (theory) at the Juilliard Preparatory Dept. in N.Y. (1959–62), and then was a student in composition of Finney and Bassett and in organ of Marilyn Mason at the Univ. of Mich. (1963–70). He also received training from Rochberg, and in Paris with Messiaen at the Cons. (1968) and privately with Max Deutsch. Albright taught at the Univ. of Mich, from 1970, where he was a prof. of music from 1982. He also served as assoc. director of its electronic music studio. In 1979 he was composer-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome, in 1993 he received the Composer of the Year Award from the American Guild of Organists, and in 1995 he won the Richard Wagner Center for Choral Studies Competition. He pursued an active career as a pianist and organist, excelling in ragtime, jazz, and contemporary works. In his compositions, he pursued quaquaversal methods of experimental music, using varied techniques according to need.


MULTIMEDIA AND DRAMATIC: Tic for Soloist, 2 Jazz-rock Improvisation Ensembles, Tape, and Film (1967); Beulahland Rag for Narrator, Jazz Quartet, Improvisation Ensemble, Tape, Film, and Slides (1967–69); Cross of Gold, music theater for Actors, Chorus, Saxophone, Trombone, Double Bass, Percussion, and Electric Organ (1975); Full Moon in March, 5 songs and incidental music to a play by Yeats (1978; Ann Arbor, Jan. 13, 1979). ORCH.: Alliance, suite (1967–70); Night Procession for Chamber Orch. (1972); Gothic Suite for Organ, Strings, and Percussion (1973); Heater for Saxophone and Symphonic Band (1977); Bacchanal for Organ and Orch. (Lincoln, Nebr., Nov. 16, 1981); Chasm: Symphonic Fragment (1988); Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings (1991). CHAMBER: Foils for Winds and Percussion (1963); Frescoes for Wind Quartet (1964); Salvos for 7 Instruments (1964); Caroms for 8 Instruments (1966); Amerithon for Variable Ensemble (1966–67); Marginal Worlds for Ensemble (1969); Danse Macabre for Violin, Cello, Flute, Clarinet, and Piano (1971); Take That for 4 Drummers (1972); Stipendium Peccati for Organ, Piano, and Percussion (1973); 7 Deadly Sins for Optional Narrator, Flute, Clarinet, String Quartet, and Piano (1974); Introduction, Passacaglia, and Rondo Capriccioso for Tack Piano and Winds (1974); Dream and Dance for Organ and Percussion (1974); Doo-Dah for 3 Alto Saxophones (1975); Peace Pipe for 2 Bassoons (1976); Saints Preserve Us for Clarinet (1976); Jericho, Battle Music for Trumpet and Organ (1976); Shadows for Guitar (1977); Halo for Organ and Metal Percussion Instruments (1978); 4 Fancies for Harpsichord (1979); Romance for Horn and Organ (1981); Enigma Syncopations for Flute, Organ, Double Bass, and Percussion (1982); Brass Tacks, rag march for Brass Quintet (1983); Saxophone Sonata (1984); Canon in D (Berim-bau!) for Contrabass and Harpsichord (1984); 3 New Chestnuts for 2 Harpsichords or Harpsichord and Tape (1986); Clarinet Quintet (1987); Abiding Passions for Woodwind Quintet (1988); The Great Amen for Flute and Piano (1992); Pit Band for Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, and Piano (1993); Fantasy- Études for Saxophone Quartet (1993–94); Rustles of Spring, 1994 for Flute, Alto Saxophone, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1994); Fantasy Etudes for Saxophone Quartet (1995). keyboard: piano:9 Pieces (1962); Pianoagogo (1965–66); 3 Orginal Rags (1967–68); Grand Sonata in Rag (1968); 3 Novelty Rags (1969); Dream Rags (1970); Sweet Sixteenths (1975); 5 Chromatic Dances (1976); Sphaera (1985); Stoptime for George for George Rochberg’s 70th birthday (1987); 4 Dance Tributes (1987–96); The Machine Age: A Set of Short Piano Pieces for our Time (1988); New Leaves (1991); Ragtime Lullabye (1991). Organ: Juba (1965); 3 Organbooks: I (1967), II, with Tape (1971), and III, subtitled 22 Études (1977–78); King of Instruments,“Parade of Music and Verse” with Narrator (1978); De spiritum (1980–81); That Sinking Feeling(1982); In Memoriam (1983); 1732: Im Memoriam Johannes Albre–cht,“program sonata” (1984); Carillon- Bombarde (1985); Chasm, with optional “echo” instrument or tape (1985); Sym. with Percussion or Tape (1986); Whistler Nocturnes (1989); Flights of Fancy (1992); Chorale Prelude for Advent on Nun Komm her Heiden Heiland (1997); Cod Piece (1998). VOCAL: Mass in D for Chorus, Organ, Percussion, and Congregation (1974); Chichester Mass for Chorus (1974); Pax in Terra for Soprano, Tenor, and Chorus (1981); David’s Songs for Chorus (1982); A Song to David, oratorio (Minneapolis, Nov. 1, 1983); Take Up the Song for Soprano, Chorus, and Piano (1986); Antigone’s Reply for Chorus and Piano (1987); Deum de Deo for Chorus and Organ (1989); Dona Nobis Pacem for Chorus and Piano (1992); Missa Brevis for Soprano and Organ (1996).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire