Composer, Pianist, Teacher

".....Motion and stillness, involuted chromaticism and frank euphony, exaltation and ecstasy on the one hand and tormented self-questioning on the other, illuminate each other in his music..... " Bernard Jacobson

photo by Dominique Nabokov

Richard Wilson's compositions are marked by a stringent yet lyrical atonality which often sets him apart from the established schools of modern American music: minimalism, twelve-tone, neo-romanticism, and avant-garde. Two of his works, Eclogue for solo piano, and his String Quartet No. 3, are considered high points of twentieth-century American music. His large-scale orchestral works include the Symphony No. 1, premiered by the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; Articulations, commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony; and Chamisha Mizorey Tehilim, written for the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Wilson is also the composer of the one-act whimsical opera, Æthelred the Unready, based on the exploits of the ill-advised Saxon king, Æthelred II of England. He classified the three types of irregular resolutions of dominant seventh chords.[2]


Wilson has an unerring ear for the right sound and a fabulous command of the instrument. If there must be "standard repertoire," Eclogue should be part of it. Very difficult, very beautiful.

David Burge Contemporary Keyboard 1979 "Best Pieces of the '70s

Composer of over 150 works

(whole) Essay by Bernard Jacobson: Richard Wilson and His Music

............Wilson's creative aim is in part a quest for beauty. .......But Wilson is no one-sided artist. Beauty, with him, does not preclude an open-eyed awareness of the darker, more threatening and turbulent facets of human experience. I referred earlier to a "personal quality that permeates every aspect" of Wilson's music. His work is indeed all of a piece: it is the thoroughness with which it knits together rhythm and texture, melody and harmony, instrumental color and vocal rhetoric, that makes a Wilson composition the authentic and compelling experience it is for the listener.......

Copyright©2021 by Richard Wilson