William Albright

  • William Albright (1944-1998), composer and performer, was concertized widely in Europe, Canada, and the United States specializing in concerts of new music. Although he premiered over thirty new works written by American and European composers, he was also highly regarded as an interpreter of classic ragtime and early jazz styles such as Harlem stride and boogie-woogie.

    As a composer he was well-known for his keyboard works, though he produced works for every medium, several of which involve electronic, visual and theatrical elements. He was the recipient of many commissions and awards, among them the Queen Marie-Jose Prize, an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two Fulbright and two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Symphonic Composition Award of Niagara University, two National Endowment for the Arts Grants, two Koussevitzky Commission. In 1979 he was composer-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome; in the same year, his composition Stipendium peccati was selected as the United States entry for the International Society of Contemporary Music Festival. The work Alliance was a similar selection in 1970, and the same organization highlighted the work Bacchanal in their programming for 1990 in Oslo, Norway. Major orchestras which have performed Albright’s works have included the Syracuse Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Budapest Philharmonic, the Austrian Radio Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Bergen Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra.

    Albright was Professor of Music Composition at the University of Michigan. In 1973 he was honored with a Distinguished Service Award from that institution, and in 1990 he received a Faculty Recognition Award. Albright pursued research in live electronic music and was Associate Director of the University’s Electronic Music Studio. His organ commissioning series, started in 1975, made substantial contributions to the literature for that instrument.

    Albright’s organ works are available on Gothic, CRI, Arkay, Titanic and Nonesuch recordings. A contract with Music Masters/Musical Heritage Society produced five piano recordings, among them the music of James P. Johnson, Albright’s own rag compositions, and the 1990 release of the complete rags of Scott Joplin. Albright also appears as performer or composer on Advance, Capstone, Cambria, Crystal, Titanic, Opus One and five other CRI releases. His compositions are published principally by C.F. Peters, with Elkan-Vogel, Inc., Jobern, Universal, Dorn, Mel Bay and E.B. Marks representing several other works.

  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
    163-00032 Chorale-Partita
    In An Old Style On “”Wer Nur Den Lieben Gott Lasst Walten”” – for Organ
    Organ Unaccompanied
    510-00009 Grand Sonata In Rag
    463-00016 Juba
    Organ Unaccompanied
    513-00012 Organbook I
    Organ Unaccompanied
    513-00013 Organbook II
    Organ Unaccompanied
    510-00010 Pianoagogo
    Piano Unaccompanied
    463-00017 Pneuma
    Organ Unaccompanied
    510-00011 Three Novelty Rags
    Chamber Ensemble
    554-80029 Caroms for 8 Players
    UE017176 Gothic Suite, Organ/Sts/Percus
    554-00004 Marginal Worlds
    554-00003 Stipendium Peccati
    For Organ, Piano, and Percussion
    544-00001 Take That
    10:00 4 Percussions
    Band / Wind Ensemble
    165-00069 Foils
    For Wind Ensemble
    9:30 Wind Ensemble
    362-03180 An Alleluia Super-Round
    Mixed Chorus
    362-03179 Father, We Thank Thee
    A Song Of Thanksgiving for Unison Choir, Soloist Or Congregation, With Piano Or Organ Accompaniment and Optional Instrumental Ostinato
    Mixed Chorus