Adolphus Hailstork, Composer
A prolific composer of music in every form from solo works to opera, symphony, chamber music Adolphus Hailstork (1941- ) was born in Rochester, New York and grew up in Albany where he studied violin, piano, organ, and voice. He currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Dr. Hailstork began his studies in composition at Howard University. He then attended the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, France, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger. He received his Bachelor and Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and received his PhD in composition from Michigan State University.
From 1969 to 1971, Dr. Hailstork taught at Michigan State University. He then served as professor at Youngstown State University in Ohio from 1971 to 1976, and in 1977 he became professor of music and Composer-in-Residence at Virginia's Norfolk State University. He is currently a professor of music and Composer-in-Residence at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
His works blend musical ideas from both the African American and European traditions. His Sonata Di Chiesa which we will hear on July 18 is an especially rich and romantic work for strings.
Cecile Chaminade, Composer
French composer Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade (1857–1944) enjoyed considerable success touring as a pianist and performing her own works. In the United States she was so popular that a national group of musical clubs was named after her, and in England her Prélude for organ was played at Queen Victoria's funeral in 1901. In 1913 she was awarded the Légion d'Honneur, a first for a female composer. Composer Ambroise Thomas said, "This is not a woman who composes, but a composer who is a woman.”
When Cécile was a youngster the family moved to the village of Le Vésinet, west of Paris, and acquired Georges Bizet as a neighbor. Cécile began playing the piano, composing keyboard music and pieces and Bizet praised her talent. Franz Liszt also praised the talent of such a young pianist.
Cécile was urged to study at the Paris Conservatory but her father forbade it, saying it would be improper for a young woman of her class. However, Cécile was allowed to take private lessons with Conservatory faculty.
Cécile toured steadily around Europe in the 1890s, finding special success in England. Audiences, including the Queen, loved her. Queen Victoria invited her to perform at Windsor Castle.
Today, thanks to an enlightened interest in the music of women composers, Cécile Chaminade's compositions have experienced a revival in popularity.
We will hear her popular Concertino for Flute with our principal flutist Stephanie Stathos as soloist.
Joseph Bologne, Composer
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) is the first known classical musician of African descent. A man of many talents he was a composer, virtuoso violinist, conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris, and a renowned champion fencer.
Born in the French colony of Guadeloupe, he was the son of George Bologne de Saint-Georges, a wealthy planter and Anne Nano, his wife’s African slave. At the age of seven his father took him to France, where he received an extensive education. During the French Revolution, he served as a colonel of the Légion St.-Georges, the first all-black regiment in Europe, fighting on the side of the Republic.
In spite of many racial instances, Bologne was very popular and led an incredible life traveling throughout Europe and England, fighting in many battles and, in competition, beating some of the most famous swordsmen in his time, while also conducting, performing and composing numerous string quartets, many instrumental pieces and several operas. His music has been compared to Mozart’s and we will be performing his Symphony No. 1 on July 18.
Stephanie Stathos, Flute
Stephanie earned her degree in Flute Performance from Boston University’s School for the Arts. Stephanie is the Principal Flute of the Cape Ann Symphony. She is also first piccolo for the Lexington Symphony. She has served as the piccolo and second flute with the touring orchestra of the National Lyric Opera of New York. As soloist she has performed throughout the United States and Europe. Other appearances include performances with many of New England’s ensembles including Boston Landmarks orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Symphony New Hampshire, Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Concord Chorale (NH), Newburyport Choral Society, North Shore Chamber Music. Stephanie also is passionate about jazz, new music and ethnic music.