Adolphus Hailstork

From Wind Repertory Project
Adolphus Hailstork


Adolphus Hailstork (b. 17 April 1941, Rochester, New York) is an American composer.

Hailstork began his musical training as a child on piano. He received his doctorate in composition from Michigan State University, where he was a student of H. Owen Reed. He completed earlier studies at the Manhattan School of Music under Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, the American Institute at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger, and Howard University with Mark Fax.

“What can an artist do?” asks Adolphus Hailstork, “I can speak on the issues and put them in my work. These are the tragedies and triumphs of a people who have been beaten up for 400 years. Does anyone speak for them? Who writes pieces that speak for the existence of African Americans in the United States? I’ll take on that job.”

Dr. Hailstork’s works have been performed by such prestigious ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic, under the batons of leading conductors such as James DePreist, Daniel Barenboim, Kurt Masur, and Lorin Maazel.

Dr. Hailstork, who has received honorary doctorates from Michigan State University and the College of William and Mary, resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and serves as Professor of Music and Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. In 1992, Dr. Hailstork was proclaimed a Cultural Laureate of the State of Virginia.

Works for Winds


  • Adolphus Hailstork website Accessed 13 February 2020
  • Adolphus Hailstork, Wikipedia Accessed 23 January 2021
  • The Horizon Leans Forward..., compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 343.
  • University of Texas Wind Symphony concert program, 6 April 2022
  • Williams, Cheldon R. "American Guernica." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 513-520. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.