(condensed from the composer's biography page )
Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork (1941-) born in Rochester, New York, began his musical studies with piano lessons He studied at Howard University and Manhattan School of Music. After returning from service in the U.S. Armed Forces in Germany he got a doctorate degree at Michigan State University in Lansing His principal teachers were H. Owen Reed, Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, Mark Fax, and Nadia Boulanger. He has taught at Youngstown State University, Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University where he is Eminent Scholar and Professor of Music. Hailstork writes in a variety of forms and styles: symphonic works and tone poems for orchestra; a piano concerto; numerous chamber works; duos for such combinations as horn and piano, clarinet and piano, flute and piano, and others; a large number of songs including songs for soprano, baritone, mezzo-soprano, some with piano and others with orchestra or chamber group; band works and band transcriptions, and many pieces for piano.
Significant performances by major orchestras (Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York) have been conducted by leading conductors such as James de Priest, Daniel Barenboim, Kurt Masur, and Lorin Maazel. The composer's second symphony (commissioned by the Detroit Symphony, and second opera , JOSHUA'S BOOTS (commissioned by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Kansas City Lyric Opera) were both premiered in 1999. Hailstork's second and third symphonies have been recorded by the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra (David Lockington) and were released on the Naxos label in January 2007. Recent commissions include EARTHRISE, a new large scale choral work premiered by James Conlon at the 2006 Cincinnati May Festival, THREE STUDIES ON CHANT MELODIES for the American Guild of Organists 2006 national convention, and, WHITMAN'S JOURNEY, a cantata for chorus and orchestra which was premiered by the Master Chorale of Washington, D.C. (under Donald McCullough) at Kennedy Center in April 2006. RISE FOR FREEDOM, an opera about the Underground Railroad, was premiered in October of 2007 by the Cincinnati Opera Company.