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Price, Florence Beatrice Smith
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Heart On The Wall: African American Art Songs For Orchestra;
Louise Toppin, Soprano; Dvořák Symphony Orchestra; Julius P.
Williams, Conductor; Albany Troy 1314 (2011)
Somewhere Far Away
Dvorak Symphony Orchestra Winston Salem State University Choir;
Julius P. Williams, conductor; Troy 1072 (2008)
The American Soloist
Dvorak Symphony Orchestra
Julius P. Williams, conductor
Is It True? (3:36)
Meditation from the Easter Celebration (5:54)
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic
Julius P. Williams, Conductor
Troy 104 (1993)
Composers -> Williams, Julius
Albany Records Troy 104 (1993);
Symphonic Brotherhood: The Music of African-American Composers; Everett McCorvey, tenor Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic; Julius Williams,
a Is It
from the Easter Celebration
1 Student &
Julius Penson Williams is an African American composer,
conductor, educator, recording artist, author and artistic
director. His career is detailed at his personal website,
http://www.juliuspwilliams.com Julius was born in the
Bronx, New York City, in 1954. He earned a B.S. degree at
Herman H. Lehman College of the City University of New York, and
an M.M.E. degree at the Hartt School of Music. Williams
has held faculty posts at several colleges and universities and
is now Professor of Composition and Conducting at Berklee College of Music in
Boston. He is also a co-director of the Videmus Recording
Dominique-René de Lerma, Professor of
Music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, has
generously made his research entry on Julius Penson Williams
available to this website. Here is an excerpt on the
conducting career of Williams:
conducting debut was in Carnegie Hall, at the 1989
initial concert of the Symphony Saint Paulia. He
has served as assistant conductor under Lukas Foss of
the Brooklyn Philharmonic and American Symphony
Orchestra. Artistic director of Spain’s Costa del
Sol Festival. Conductor and composer of
Connecticut Arts Awards on PBS and the Nutmeg Ballet
Company. Artistic Director of the New York State
Summer School of the Arts choral section and President
at the University of Vermont. Guest at the
Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra in
Yugoslavia. On faculty at Berklee.
3 American Orchestras
The website of
Maestro Williams adds:
He has conducted American
orchestras in Dallas, New Haven, Savannah, Hartford,
Sacramento, Tulsa, Knoxville, Oklahoma, The Vermont
Symphony, The Norwalk Symphony, The Vermont
Philharmonic, and Paducah Symphony in Kentucky, The
Akron Symphony Orchestra, The Wooster Symphony of Ohio,
the Armor Artist Chamber Orchestra, the Connecticut
Opera Association and the Washington Symphony Orchestra
of Washington, DC. The Tri-C Jazz Festival of Cleveland
was opened by Maestro Williams in 1999 with a powerful
performance of Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Service”.
4 European Orchestras
conducted and recorded extensively in Europe, as he relates at
Europe, Maestro Williams has performed and recorded with
The Prague Radio Symphony, The Dvorak Symphony
Orchestra, The Volvodanksa Symphony of Serbia, The
Dubrovnik Symphony of Croatia, The Brno State
Philharmonic, The Bohuslav-Martinu Philharmonic
Orchestra, and The Music Festival of Costa del Sol,
The composer's personal
A prolific composer,
Maestro Williams has created dozens of works for
virtually every genre of contemporary classical
performance, including opera, ballet, orchestra, chamber
ensemble, chorus and solo voice, dance, musical theatre
6 Symphonic Brotherhood
Williams conducted the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic's recording
of his works Is It True? (3:36) and
Meditation from the Easter Celebration (5:54) with tenor Everett McCorvey on
Troy 104 (1993). The liner notes observe:
Cantata Easter Celebration was written in early
1993, as part of Williams' residency at Shenandoah
University and Conservatory (Winchester, Virginia).
There he served as Visiting Associate Professor and
Jesse Ball duPont Scholar (academic year 1992-93).
The Cantata is scored for orchestra, chorus, gospel
choir, tenor, and dancers, and was premiered at
Shenandoah, April 11, 1993.
Shades of Blue
Shades of Blue: Symphonic
Works of African American Composers,
(2001) contains works of David Baker, H. Leslie Adams and
Stephen Michael Newby. Julius Williams conducted the Prague
Radio Symphony in performances of Baker's
Shades of Blue
Ode to Life.
Taylor, baritone, and
Washington Symphony performed Newby's
Gospel Songs for Baritone &
The American Soloist,
(2004), Maestro Williams conducted the Dvorak Symphony Orchestra
in works of Andrew List, Lee McQuillan, Joaquin Rodrigo and
Arthur Welwood. Eva Szekely was violin soloist for List's
Linda Lister joined the ensemble for McQuillan's
Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios.
Everett McCorvey was tenor for McQuillan's
Hopkins played trumpet on Welwood's
Wind Sky Clouds,
which AlbanyRecords.com describes as follows:
The piece is an example of "Third Stream," a phrase
first coined by composer Gunther Schuller to describe
the fusion of jazz and classical styles and where the
crossover from one to another in the course of the piece
is blurred and often imperceptible.
The New American Romanticism
Williams conducts the Dvorak Symphony Orchestra on Troy 704
(2004). The works are
Symphony for Chamber Ensemble
for Solo Violin and Orchestra of Lee McQuillan,
Symphony No. 1
Midnight Tolls, Albany
Records ALB 844 (2006) consists of four works performed by the
Dvorak Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Julius P. Williams.
The album's namesake and opening work,
was also composed by Julius Williams. Next is
Seasons of Gold by
Lee T. McQuillan, with Linda Lister, soprano. The third work is
Mystic Valley Autumn
Qualliotine. Martin Hybner plays vibraphone, and Dagmar
Platilova plays harpsichord. The CD ends with
Symphony No. 1
Hojnacki. AlbanyRecords.com quotes from two reviews of the disc:
The programs that Williams has assembled has a
remarkable fluidity...The Dvorak Symphony Orchestra
plays nimbly and, when required, with power... (Fanfare)
...lovely, professional, and charmingly old-fashioned...
(American Record Guide)
11 Somewhere Far Away
On the CD
Somewhere Far Away,
Troy 1072 (2008), all three works are performed by the Dvorak
Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Julius Williams. Joe
Westmoreland is composer of the work
Somewhere Far Away.
artists on the piece are Gabrielle Goodman, soprano; Armstead
Christian, tenor; Dr. Roy L. Belfield, Jr., piano; and the
Winston Salem State University Choir. Julius P. Williams is
Toccatina for String Orchestra
A Journey to Freedom Honor
and Glory, An American Hero John Daniels.
final work are Louise Toppin, soprano; Desire Dubose,
mezzo-soprano; Julius Williams, tenor; the Reston Chorale; Fred
Wygal, narrator; and the Winston Salem State University Choir.
The Berklee College of
Music faculty page on Julius Williams says this about the
publishers of his music:
published by MMB, Augsburg Fortress, Carl Fischer,
Warner Brothers, and Lawson-Gould. Compositions
performed by New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra,
Dallas Symphony, and many orchestras nationally and
The composer's website lists several
performances of his works, including these:
He has served as
Composer-in-Residence of Connecticut’s Nutmeg Ballet
Company, which premiered his ballet, Cinderella.
His Norman Overture was premiered by the New York
Philharmonic, conducted by Zubin Mehta. The opera
Guinevere was performed at the Aspen Music
Festival and at Dubrovnik Music Festival in Croatia.
He is composer of the score for the film What Color
is Love?, the score for the play In Dahomey
and the choral piece A Journey to Freedom for the
Reston Choral and Festival Orchestra in Virginia.
The moving tribute to the victims of September 11, In
Memorium was premiered by the Detroit Symphony.
Maestro Williams has served as conductor-composer of the
Connecticut Arts Award for Public Television. His film
score for Lifetime TV’s Fighting for our Future
won the Gracie Allen Documentary Award in 2003.
14 Public Profile
Julius P. Williams plays an active role in current affairs
related to classical music composition and performance. On an
international level, he was selected by the Shanghai
Conservatory of Music as one of two Final Jurors in the
2009 Rivers Composition Competition.
The other Final Juror was
Prof. Alexander Koblyakov, Dean of the Moscow Conservatory
in Russia. Another example is his role, along with Kenneth
Harris, Sr., another African American composer and conductor, in
organizing a concert at
Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center for Oct. 21, 2009. The
Longar Ebony Symphony Orchestra was joined by talented soloist
of African descent for a program of Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson
and Aaron Copland, among others.
Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma
Cinderella, ballet. Première: Connecticut,
Nutmeg Ballet Company; Julius P. Williams, conductor.
Easter celebration (1993). Duration: 5:54.
----- 2. Is it true? (1993). Duration: 3:36.
CD: Everett McCorvey, tenor; Bohuslav Martinu Symphony; Julius
P. Williams, conductor. Albany TROY 104 (1993,
---- 5. Meditation.
CD: Bohuslav Martinu Symphony; Julius P. Williams, conductor.
Albany TROY 104 (1993, Symphonic brotherhood).
Guinevere, opera. Première: 1889 OR 1990?;
Dubrovnik Festival; Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra; Julius P.
In roads, for flute, oboe & violoncello (1987).
Norman overture. Première: New York Philharmonic;
Zubin Mehta, conductor.
Sounds of colors, for organ.
Toccatina, for string orchestra. Commission:
Camerata Youth Orchestra.
Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma
Banfield, William C. Landscapes in color; conversations
with Black American composers. Landham MD: Scarecrow
Press, 2003. xvi, 380p. ISBN 0-8108-3706-4.
Black perspective in music v18, p242, 245.
Carter, Madison H. An annotated catalogue of composers
of African ancestry. New York: Vantage Press, 1986.
Con brio, v1n3.
Horne, Aaron. String music by Black American composers.
Westport: Greenwood Press, 1991 (Music reference collection,
no. 33). xx, 327p. Foreword by Dominique-René de Lerma. ISBN
White, Evelyn Davidson. Choral music by Afro-American
composers; A selected, annotated bibliography. 2nd ed.
Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 1996. viii, 126p. ISBN 0-8108-3037-X.
First edition issued by Scarecrow in 1981.
This page was last updated
January 1, 2016