About Adolphus Hailstork: American composer and educator (1941-) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Adolphus Hailstork
American composer and educator

Adolphus Hailstork

Adolphus Hailstork
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American composer and educator
Is Musician Composer Music educator Educator
From United States of America
Field Academia Music
Gender male
Birth 17 April 1941, Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA
Age 82 years
Star sign Aries
Michigan State University
Manhattan School of Music
The details


Adolphus Hailstork (born April 17, 1941) is an American composer and educator. 

Early life and education

Adolphus Hailstork was born as Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork III on April 17, 1941, in Rochester, New York. He grew up in Albany, New York, where he studied violin, piano, organ, and voice.

Hailstork received a BA from Howard University studying with Mark Fax, a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music studying with Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, and a doctorate in music composition from Michigan State University in 1971, studying with H. Owen Reed

He also studied at The American Institute at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger.


Hailstork has served as a professor at Youngstown State University in Ohio, as well as a 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.

Hailstork is of African American ancestry and his works blend musical ideas from both the African American and European traditions.

Hailstork's awards include a Fulbright fellowship (1987). 

In 1992, he was named a Cultural Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Old Dominion University maintains the Adolphus Hailstork Collection, in the special collections area of the F. Ludwig Diehn Composers Room, in the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center. 

In 1999, he was awarded the Brock Commission from the American Choral Directors Association. Hailstork is published by Theodore Presser Company and Carl Fischer Music.

Selected works

Works for Solo Instruments

  • 2 Scherzos for solo piano
  • Bassoon Set for solo bassoon
  • Eight Variations On “Shalom Chaverim” for solo piano
  • Five Friends for solo piano
  • Flute Set for solo flute
  • Four Preludes for solo harp
  • Ignis Fatuus (Mysterious Fires) for solo piano
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 for solo piano
  • Piano Sonata No. 3 for solo piano
  • The Surprising Thing Is for solo violin
  • Theme and Variations on "Draw the Sacred Circle Closer" for solo Cello
  • Sonata for Solo Cello
  • Three Smiles for Tracy for solo clarinet
  • Trio Sonata for solo piano
  • Two Studies on Chant Melodies" for solo organ
  • Variations for solo trumpet

Works for Chamber Ensemble

  • American Fanfare for 3Tpt. 4Hn. 3Tbn. Tu. 3Perc. Timp.
  • American Landscape for string duet
  • Armegeddon for organ and two percussion
  • As Falling Leaves
  • Baroque Suite for violin and piano
  • The Blue Bag for clarinet and piano
  • Consort Piece for septet
  • Divertimento for violin and viola
  • Evensong for violin and cello
  • Fanfare on Amazing Grace for brass quintet, timpani, and organ
  • Fantasy Piece for viola and piano
  • Four Hymns Without Words for trumpet and piano
  • Guest Suite for four hands on one piano
  • Ghosts in Grey and Blue for trumpet, horn, and trombone
  • I Am Only One for SATB choir
  • John Henry's Big (Man vs. Machine) for trombone and piano
  • Little Diversions for Lord Byron's Court for two violins or string duet
  • Sanctum for clarinet and piano or viola and piano
  • A Simple Caprice for clarinet and piano
  • Sonata for trumpet and piano
  • Sonata for two pianos
  • Springtime for Elephants for two tubas
  • String Quartet No. 1
  • String Quartet No. 2 - Variations on "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"
  • Three Meditations for viola and organ
  • Two by Two for horn and trombone
  • Variations on a Guyanese Folk Song for violin and piano
  • Ventriloquist Acts of God for soprano and piano
  • Violin Concerto for violin and piano
  • Who is Sylvia? For Coloratura Soprano, Violin, and Piano

Works for Chorus and Orchestra

  • Break Forth for Chorus and Orchestra
  • Crispus Attucks - American Patriot for mezzo, tenor, bass-bariton, large chorus, and orchestra
  • Done Made My Vow for narrator, soloists, mixed chorus, and orchestra
  • EarthRise (A Song of Healing) for two choirs and orchestra
  • Four Spirituals for two sopranos, mixed chorus and orchestra
  • The Gift of the Magi A “Choral Ballet” for dancers, chamber orchestra and children's chorus
  • I will lift up mine eyes, cantata for tenor, choir, and orchestra
  • Serenade “To Hearts Which Near Each Other Move” for SATB choir and orchestra
  • Songs of Innocence for three soloists, chorus and orchestra
  • Within Our Gates for solo soprano, solo tenor, SATB chorus and string orchestra
  • The World Called for solo soprano, SATB chorus and orchestra

Works for Wind Ensemble

  • American Guernica

Works for Orchestra

  • An American Port of Call
  • Baroque Suite for String Orchestra (with optional Harpsichord)
  • Church Street Serenade for String Orchestra
  • Concertino for Trumpet and Orchestra
  • Essay for Strings
  • Fanfare on Amazing Grace for Orchestra
  • Hercules"
  • Intrada
  • Lachrymosa: 1919
  • Sonata for Trumpet (or Clarinet) and String Orchestra
  • Symphony No. 3
  • Three Spirituals
  • Two Romances for Viola and Chamber Orchestra
  • Violin Concerto


  • Joshua’s Boots an Opera in one Act
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar: Common Ground An Operatic Theaterpiece
  • Rise for Freedom: The John P. Parker Story
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