WALTER HILSE, a native of New York City, earned his advanced degrees from Columbia University. As a solo performer he has appeared throughout the United States, Europe, and the Far East, making triumphant tours of Sweden in 1990, 1994, and l995. Of special note are his five critically acclaimed solo organ recitals at New York City’s Alice Tully Hall, and several complete performances of Bach’s The Art of Fugue. Dr. Hilse has collaborated with many singers and instrumentalists, as well as with performance organizations such as The New York Virtuoso Singers, the Florilegium Chamber Choir and the Alliance for American Song (see “Links”). A prize-winning Fellow of the American Guild of Organists (A.G.O.), he is currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music. A CD of his live 1995 performance of The Art of Fugue at St. Peter’s Church, New York City, has been released by the Berkshire Bach Society; a CD featuring performances of organ music by various composers has been released by J.A.V. Recordings (see “Discography”).
Dr. Hilse’s compositions cover over 80 art songs; an a cappella Mass for SATB chorus (performed at several New York City churches); over 20 anthems and psalm settings; a setting of various Sabbath-morning texts; compositions for solo organ; a piano suite; and numerous works for instrumental ensemble (see “Scores”). Awards have included the Joseph H. Bearns Prize of Columbia University (1966) and the Choral Composition Prize of the Boston Chapter A.G.O. (1974). Among his commissioners have been the Alliance for American Song, the 1996 A.G.O. National Convention, the Greenwich Village Singers, the New York Treble Singers, Jo Ann Rice, David Shuler, Rush Swayze, Patricia Sullivan and the Berkshire Bach Society.
EDUCATION: Teachers at Juilliard Preparatory Division were Beveridge Webster and Edgar Roberts (piano); Vincent Persichetti, Suzanne Bloch and Norman Lloyd (composition);
and Bronson Ragan (organ).
Teachers in Paris (1962-1964) were Maurice Duruflé (organ); Nadia Boulanger (composition); and Manuel Rosenthal (Paris Conservatory conducting class).
Degrees from Columbia University: B.A. in mathematics (valedictorian in 1962); M.A. in composition (1966); Ph.D. in musicology (1971). Composition teachers at Columbia included Otto Luening, Jack Beeson and Chou wen-Chung.
Musicological works: “Factors Making for Coherence in the Works of Paul Hindemith, 1919-1926” (doctoral dissertation); “The Treatises of Christoph Bernhard,” in The Music Forum III, pp. 1-196; and several articles in The American Organist.
APPOINTMENTS: Present appointments in Manhattan: Artist-in-Residence, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church; Associate Organist, Congregation Rodeph Sholom; Organist, Redeemer Presbyterian Church; Faculty Member, Manhattan School of Music.