William Albright

1944 - 1998



"My music is generous, eclectic, and maximal. I enjoy and prefer messy diversity to boring unity. Many works are public; many are private. I enjoy lively rhythm and ecstatic beauty."


William Albright was born on 20 October 1944 in Gary, Indiana. He received his degrees through the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Ross Lee Finney and Leslie Bassett. His honors include Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Queen Marie-José Prize, two Koussevitzky Composition Awards, and an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. His music was selected to represent the U.S.A. in the ISCM competitions and the International Rostrum of Composers (UNESCO). He taught composition at the University of Michigan.


Albright was a distinguished organist and pianist, known for his performances of contemporary music, as well as for his interpretations of classic ragtime and traditional jazz piano styles. Albright brought together many types of musical experience - including popular music and jazz - in a unique style that is both profoundly expressive and full of joy. The New Grove Dictionary states: "Though his works are formally concise, he stresses the value of music as communication and the supremacy in music of intuition, imagination, and beauty of sound."


William Albright died in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on 17 September 1998.