NAME: William Alden Hibbard

BIRTH DATE/LOCATION:
August 8, 1939, Newton, Massachusetts

DEATH DATE/LOCATION:
April 5, 1989, San Francisco, California

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William Hibbard (1983)
Photo: courtesy estate of William Hibbard.

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  • IDENTIFICATION AND BIO:
    Composer, Conductor, Violist and Teacher

    B.Mus. in Violin, New England Conservatory of Music (1961)
    M.Mus. in Composition, New England Conservatory of Music (1963)
    Ph.D in Composition, University of Iowa (1967)
    Principal teachers: Francis Judd Cooke, Donald Martino and Richard Hervig

    William Hibbard was a distinguished composer, conductor, violist and teacher. He was appointed to the University of Iowa Music Composition faculty in 1966, and promoted to full professor in 1977. He became Chair of the Theory and Composition area in the School of Music in 1982. He served as Music Director of the University's professional new music ensemble, the Center for New Music, from its inception in 1966 through 1988. In addition, he served as Director of the University's Center for New Performing Arts, an interdisciplinary arts project funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Iowa, from 1965 through 1975. Both organizations have made enormous contributions to the promotion, understanding and advancement of new music and art. In 1986 the Center for New Music received the Commendation of Excellence Award from Broadcast Music Inc (BMI). In 1990 the American Composers Alliance conferred its Laurel Leaf Award upon the Center for New Music "in memoriam William Hibbard."

    As a violist, he served as Principal Viola of the Quad City Symphony (James Dixon, Music Director) from 1984 through late 1988. In addition, he was founder and Director of the Iowa City String Orchestra from 1980 to 1986.

    As a composer, he wrote more than forty works, including compositions for mixed chamber ensembles, voice, orchestra and solo instruments. His musical compositions employ strict serial techniques with virtuoso instrumental writing, contrapuntal complexity and unique orchestration. His composition Ménage (1974) for soprano, trumpet and violin was selected by the U.S. jury as one of five American works to be submitted for the 1977 ISCM Festival in Bonn, Germany. In 1988 he was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the New England Conservatory.

    William Hibbard died of AIDS in San Francisco at the age of 49 on April 5, 1989.

    When asked to describe his music for the Lingua Press Collection II Catalogue, he wrote: "When asked for my views of my own music I freeze. Such requests seek to elicit a verbal – and, it seems to me falsely concrete – grasp to a composer's sonic abstractions. Personally, I desire to fashion something wrought well. Logic and imagination interact to fertilize and focus those desires so that, in the end, the music itself may say it all."

    —Paul Paccione

    WORKS:

    ORCHESTRA/LARGE ENSEMBLE

    Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
    for: viola solo, orchestra
    date: 1977
    duration: 23:00
    published: Associated Music Publishers (rental)

    Consorts for Winds, Brass and Percussion
    for: winds, brass, percussion
    date: 1984
    note: commissioned by Iowa Bands, Myron Welch, director

    Four Pieces
    for: flute, clarinet, horn, trombone, violin, double bass, piano, vibraphone, percussion
    date: 1962
    published: American Composers Alliance
    source: New York Public Library

    Processionals
    for: orchestra: 3222 4231 str
    date: 1980
    duration: 12:00
    published: Associated Music Publishers (rental)
    source: American Music Center
    note: commissioned by American Composers Orchestra, New York

    Reliefs
    for: orchestra: 3333 6441 timp, perc hrp pno str
    date: 1962
    duration: 16:00
    source: American Music Center

    Sinfonia on Expanding Matrices
    for: string orchestra
    date: 1983
    duration: 8:00
    published: American Composers Alliance (rental)

    Stabiles for 13 Instruments
    for: flute, alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, trumpet, trombone, vibraphone, harp, piano, violin, viola, violoncello, double bass
    date: 1968
    duration: 8:00
    published: Associated Music Publishers (rental)
    source: American Music Center

    CHAMBER

    Bass Trombone, Bass Clarinet, Harp
    for: bass trombone, bass clarinet, harp
    date: 1973
    duration: 8:00
    published: E.C. Schirmer/Ione Press (permanently out of print)
    source: American Music Center
    recorded: Jon English, bass trombone, Charles West, bass clarinet, Motter Forman, harp, William Hibbard, conductor. CRI SD 324 (LP, 1975), Music & Arts CD 675 (1991), CRI CD 721 (1996).

    Duo
    for: clarinet, vibraphone
    date: 1987

    A Euphonious Duet on Expanding Matrices
    for: 2 violins
    date: 1982
    published: American Composers Alliance

    Fantasy
    for: organ, trumpet, trombone, 2 percussion
    date: 1965
    note: commissioned by Boston Symphony Orchestra and American Guild of Organists

    Gestures
    for: flute, double bass, marimba, percussion
    date: 1963, revised 1969
    published: American Composers Alliance
    source: New York Public Library

    Intersections I, II
    for: woodwind quintet, piano, 5 percussionists
    date: 1966

    One Round ... and Another One
    for: vibraphone, 2 pianos
    date: 1979
    published: American Composers Alliance
    source: American Music Center

    P/M Variations
    for: 2 double basses
    date: 1975/1982
    published: American Composers Alliance

    P/M Variations, Revisited
    for: 4 double basses
    date: 1982
    published: American Composers Alliance
    source: American Music Center

    Portraits
    for: flute and piano
    date: 1963, revised 1964
    published: E. C. Schirmer/Ione Press 2097

    String Quartet (Quartet for Strings)
    for: string quartet
    date: 1971
    published: E.C. Schirmer/Ione Press 646
    source: American Music Center; New York Public Library
    recorded: Stradivari Quartet. CRI SD 322 (LP, 1974), Music & Arts CD 675 (1991).

    String Trio (Trio for Strings)
    for: violin, viola, cello
    date: 1963
    published: E. C. Schirmer/Ione Press 642
    source: New York Public Library

    Trio
    for: violin, clarinet, guitar
    date: 1959

    Variations for Brass Nonet
    for: 3 trumpets, 3 horns, 3 trombones
    date: 1960
    published: Associated Music Publishers (out of print)

    SOLO INSTRUMENT

    Caprice for Unaccompanied Viola
    for: viola
    date: 1979
    published: American Composers Alliance
    source: American Music Center

    Expanding Matrices: Four Mirror Etudes in First Position for Viola Solo
    for: viola
    date: 1982
    published: American Composers Alliance

    Handwork
    for: piano
    date: 1986
    note: commissioned by Garrick Ohlsson
    published: American Composers Alliance
    source: American Music Center
    recorded: Garrick Ohlsson, piano. Music & Arts CD 675 (1991).

    Parsons' Piece
    for: solo percussion (3 gongs, 3 cowbells, 3 cymbals, 3 drums)
    date: 1968, revised 1974
    note: written for William Parsons
    published: E.C. Schirmer/Ione Press (permanently out of print)
    source: American Music Center; New York Public Library
    recorded: William Parsons, percussion. Music & Arts CD 675 (1991).

    Reflexa III
    for: viola
    date: 1973

    Schickstueck
    for: vibraphone
    date: 1981
    published: American Composers Alliance
    note: commissioned by Steven Schick
    recorded: Steven Schick, percussion. Music & Arts CD 675 (1991).

    Three Pieces for Viola Alone
    for: viola
    date: 1983

    Variations for Violoncello Solo
    for: violoncello
    date: 1969
    published: E.C. Schirmer/Ione Press
    source: American Music Center

    VOCAL & CHORAL

    The Dream Lady (song cycle)
    for: alto, flute, alto saxophone, bassoon, 2 violas, cello
    date: 1958
    text: ?

    A Letter of Condolence
    for: baritone solo
    date: 1982
    text: Abraham Lincoln
    source: Paul Paccione

    Ménage
    for: soprano, trumpet, violin
    date: 1974, revised 1978
    duration: ca. 8:30
    text: "Ménage employs no text, only vocal timbres indicated by the international phonetic alphabet."
    note: commissioned by the Society for Commissioning New Music, Baton Rouge, LA
    published: Lingua Press
    source: American Music Center; New York Public Library
    recorded: Phyllis Bryn-Julson, soprano, Benjamin Hudson, violin, Allan Dean, trumpet. CRI SD 498 (LP), Music & Arts CD 675 (1991)

    Reflexa
    for: soprano, flute, trombone, cello, harp, vibes/marimba
    date: 1970
    text: ?
    published: American Composers Alliance

    Super Flumina Babylonis (motet)
    for: soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, 2 basses, string sextet
    date: 1967
    text: Psalm 137
    published: American Composers Alliance

    Three Whitman Miniatures
    for: SSATBB and piano
    text: Walt Whitman
    date: 1983
    published: Associated Music Publishers (out of print)

    FILM SCORES

    Girl on a Landscape
    for: piano and percussion
    date: 1966
    note: American Film Institute prize; commissioned by David Abrahmson, director.

    Portraits for Eternity
    for: unknown
    date: 1963
    note: Produced by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. See Portraits for flute and piano, above.

    OTHER WORKS:

    Sensuous Extractions
    listed: BMI database

    Thesis
    listed: BMI database

    UNCOMPLETED WORKS:
    Lincoln/Lincoln (opera)
    libretto: Nastav

    WRITINGS:
    "Some Aspects of Serial Improvisation," American Guild of Organists Quarterly, Part One: October 1966; Part Two: January 1967.
    "Charles Wuorinen: The Politics of Harmony," review, Perspectives of New Music, vii/2 (1968-69), pp.155-70.
    Various program notes for recordings and performances.

    PERFORMING EDITIONS:

    Musica del'Estate for Viola Solo by Donald Jenni, written for and edited by William Hibbard. New York: Associated Music Publishers, 1974.
    Variations III for Viola Alone by Dennis Riley, written for and edited by William Hibbard. New York: C.F. Peters Corp., 1973.

    DISCOGRAPHY:

    CDs:
    In Memoriam William Hibbard: Parson's Piece, William Parsons, percussion; String Quartet, Stradivari Quartet; Bass Trombone, Bass Clarinet, Harp and Ménage, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, soprano; Schickstück, Steven Schick, vibraphone; Handwork, Garrick Ohlsson, piano. (String Quartet, Bass Trombone, Bass Clarinet, Harp and Ménage reissued from CRI LP recordings). Music & Arts CD 675 (1991).
    "Bass Trombone, Bass Clarinet, Harp," Gay American Composers, CRI CD 721 (1996).

    LPs:
    String Quartet, Stradivari Quartet. CRI SD 322 (LP, 1974).
    "Bass Trombone, Bass Clarinet, Harp," Jon English, bass trombone, Charles West, bass clarinet, Motter Forman, harp, William Hibbard, conductor, Contemporary Music from The University of Iowa. CRI SD 324 (LP, 1975).
    Ménage, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, soprano. CRI SD 498 (LP, 1983).

    As Performer:
    Richard Hervig: Chamber Music for Six Players, University of Iowa School of Music faculty, William Hibbard, conductor. CRI SD 380 (LP, 1978).
    Kenneth Gaburo: Line Studies, Members of the Center for New Music, University of Iowa, William Hibbard, viola/conductor, February 11, 1984. Musicworks 75 (CD, Fall 1999).
    William Matthews: Letters from Home, University of Iowa Center for New Music Ensemble, William Hibbard, viola (ensemble member), James Dixon, conductor. CRI SD 375 (LP, 1978).
    Contemporary Music from The University of Iowa, William Hibbard violist in "Cucumber Music" by Donald Martin Jenni and "Variations II: Trio" by Dennis Riley. CRI SD 324 (LP, 1875).
    Ezra Sims: Chamber Music on Chinese Poems, William Hibbard, viola. CRI SD 186 (LP, 1964).

    BIBLIOGRAPHY:

    • "William Hibbard," liner notes to recording, Gay American Composers, CRI CD 721 (1996)
    • "William Hibbard In Memoriam," liner notes by Lowell Cross, Music & Arts CD 675 (1991)
    • A History of the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa, 1966-1991 by Barbara C. Phillips Farley, dissertation for D.M.A, University of Iowa, 1991. 202 pp., UMI No. DA9203123. (Includes interview with Hibbard).
    • Lingua Press Collection II Catalogue, November 1977 (distributed by Frog Peak Music).

    PERFORMING RIGHTS AFFILIATION:
    BMI

    RESOURCES:
    American Composers Alliance
    73 Spring Street
    Room 505
    New York NY 10012
    Tel: (212) 362-8900
    Fax: (212) 925-6798
    info@composers.com
    www.composers.com

    American Music Center
    30 West 26th Street
    Suite 1001
    New York, NY 10010
    Tel: (212) 366-5260
    Fax: (212) 366-5265
    www.amc.net

    American Music Center Collection
    The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
    40 Lincoln Center Plaza
    New York, NY 10023-7498
    www.nypl.org

    Hal Leonard Corporation
    7777 West Bluemound Road
    Milwaukee, WI 53213
    Tel: (414) 774-3630
    Fax: (414) 774-3259
    halinfo@halleonard.com
    www.halleonard.com

    Lingua Press
    Frog Peak Music
    Box 1052
    Lebanon, NH 03766
    Tel/Fax: (603) 448-8837
    fp@frogpeak.org
    www.frogpeak.org

    E. C. Schirmer Music Co./Ione Press
    ECS Publishing
    138 Ipswich Street
    Boston MA 02215-3534
    Tel: (617) 236-1935 ask for Order Department
    Fax: (617) 236-0261
    office@ecspublishing.com
    www.ecspublishing.com

    G. Schirmer/Associated Music Publishers
    257 Park Avenue South
    New York NY 10010
    Tel: (212) 254-2100
    Fax: (212) 254-2013
    schirmer@schirmer.com
    www.schirmer.com

    MUSICAL EXECUTOR:
    James Dixon (conductor, companion)
    111 Steiner Street
    San Francisco, CA 94117
    (415) 626-3473

    OTHER CONTACTS:
    Richard Hervig (composer, friend)
    1822 Rochester Avenue
    Iowa City, IA 52245
    (319) 338-4183

    Paul Paccione (composer, friend)
    Western Illinois University
    Department of Music
    College of Fine Arts
    Browne Hall 122
    1 University Circle
    Macomb, IL 61455-1390
    P-Paccione@wiu.edu

    ARCHIVES:
    Moving from James Dixon's home in Iowa to New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in Fall 2002.

     


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