(Looking Back, page 5)
Not long after enrolling at Cornell in September 1960, I began to learn of the European avant-garde, primarily by attending new-music concerts in New York City. The most memorable of these concerts was one I attended at the New School for Social Research the afternoon of February 5th, 1961. I was so intoxicated with this music (Stockhausen, Berio) that I returned that same evening for the second performance. Back at Cornell I found more of this music in the record and tape collections of the Music Library. Yet my own early attempts at serialism were frustrated by a lack of technique in more traditional idioms. It was Karel Husa who advised me to postpone my exploration of the former until I had achieved a firm grasp of the latter. On one of my trips to New York during my first year of study at Cornell I met Claire Palmer, a pianist with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia who had been furthering her study in piano at the Juilliard School in the year following my enrollment there. We were married in Ithaca, NY, in September 1961. My work in composition with Profs. Husa and Palmer at Cornell University consisted primarily of studies in traditional forms and tonal idioms. In addition, I studied analytic techniques with Robert Palmer, orchestration with Karel Husa, music history with Donald Jay Grout, research techniques with William Austin and piano with John Kirkpatrick. As a graduate assistant I served for four years as manager and librarian of the Cornell Symphony and Chamber Orchestras; I also played oboe and English horn in these organizations and coached sectional rehearsals. For my Master's degree I wrote a sonata for English horn and piano (which my wife Claire and I premiered in 1962) and a paper entitled “Stravinsky's Harmonic Procedures in the Symphonies of Wind Instruments." For my doctorate I composed a concerto for piano and wind orchestra and wrote a thesis on Charles Ives' extensive use of metric modulation. Minoring in drama at Cornell, I studied play production, play writing and the history of the American theater. I wrote two original one-act plays, one of which was given a script-in-hand staging in Cornell's Drummond Studio. I compiled sound-tracks for the Dramatic Club's presentations of Shakespeare's As You Like It and the Wakefield Master's Second Shepherd's Play. In addition, I wrote the score for a musical-theater version of Aristophanes' Lysistrata and composed incidental music for a puppet-theater adaptation of the French mystery play, Adam. Finally, I served as Music Director for the Cornell Centennial production, Son et Lumière, in June of 1965. <--[BACK] This autobiography continues at www.DMWilson.com. Please click here.---> [LINK]
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<--Cornell University, far above Cayuga's waters (photo released into p.d.)
My work in composition with Profs. Husa and Palmer at Cornell University consisted primarily of studies in traditional forms and tonal idioms. In addition, I studied analytic techniques with Robert Palmer, orchestration with Karel Husa, music history with Donald Jay Grout, research techniques with William Austin and piano with John Kirkpatrick.
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