Praised for music-making that connects with musicians and audiences alike William Henry Curry has conducted the Symphonies of Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New Jersey, San Diego, the American Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as the Houston Grand Opera. The Indianapolis Symphony premiered his own composition Eulogy for a Dream, based on speeches and writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. International appearances include the Israel Camerata Jerusalem, the Sai Jai Thai Orchestra in Bangkok and the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. He has toured and recorded Anthony Davis’ Grammy-nominated opera X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, and conducted the New York City Opera’s The Mother of Three Sons by Leroy Jenkins with choreography by Bill T. Jones.
Winner of the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition of the American Symphony Orchestra, William Henry Curry, was born in Pittsburgh and started conducting at the age of 14.
Early on, Curry served as resident conductor of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and was assistant conductor of the Richmond Chamber Orchestra. The day he was named assistant conductor, at age 21, of the Richmond Symphony, he was called upon to replace the conductor who had suddenly become ill, for the performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that evening. His unexpected debut was hailed by critics and audience alike.
While associate conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Curry served as artistic director of a number of series, including the orchestra’s acclaimed summer series with an annual attendance of some 30,000 concert goers.
Maestro Curry then assumed the role of Resident Conductor with the New Orleans Symphony and led three subscription concerts in addition to the Pops and Discovery Series of the Symphony. After the New York City Opera tapped him to conducted that Opera’s U.S. premiere of The Mother of Three Sons by Leroy Jenkins, he went on to conduct five performances of the Jenkins opera with the Houston Opera.
Curry’s many engagements have included the Houston, Atlanta and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, the Nassau Symphony Orchestra, the Sai Jai Thai Orchestra of Bangkok (Thailand), the National Symphony Orchestra of Taipei (Taiwan), and the Chautauqua Symphony.
Maestro Curry’s visit to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra included four subscription concerts, and a project with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra combined with the Atlanta Public Schools Orchestra. The subscription program featured a performance of John Taverner’s The Protecting Veil with Steven Isserlis as solo cellist. Critic Derrick Henry, in reviewing Maestro Curry’s work in Atlanta, wrote – “Curry…showed that he is a musician of imagination and individuality with a fresh, bold and excitingly fast-paced Mussorgsky-Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition, brilliantly executed by the ASO”.
Curry made his debut as a conductor of ballet in December 2002 with the New York City Ballet in their famed production of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.
Maestro Curry spent twenty years with the North Carolina Symphony, first as Associate Conductor and then the Resident Conductor. He served in many capacities, including statewide touring with the North Carolina Symphony, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Summer concerts of the Symphony, numerous classical subscription concerts, as composer of several works premiered by the Symphony, and during a search for a new Music Director, he held complete responsibility for programming the concert season and conducting a number of the concerts.
Maestro Curry is currently the Music Director Durham Symphony Orchestra, a position he began in 2009.
William Henry Curry lead the North Carolina Symphony in spectacular performances of The Music Man – and it was truly a spectacle, fully costumed, choreographed and complete with a terrific youthful marching band. Classical Voice North Carolina wrote: “Curry coordinated the evening with the level of commitment often reserved for productions of, say, Wagner’s Ring, and the positive results were everywhere apparent.”
Eulogy for a Dream was performed in Durham and Albuquerque. Curry’s composition is based on speeches and other writings of Martin Luther King, Jr.
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“…an engaging conductor, both verbally and musically”
“…he is a musician of imagination and individuality with a fresh, bold and excitingly fast-paced Mussorgsky-Ravel “Pictures at an Exhibition”, brilliantly executed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra”.
Atlanta Journal Constitution
“Curry made the composer’s intentions perfectly clear, and then, with his absolute control and obvious connection to the music, made the best possible case for a complex but ultimately moving work.” [Nielsen Symphony #5]
Raleigh News & Observer
“A refreshingly fine all-American program… a magnificent orchestral song cycle led by its composer, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry.”
Classical Voice North Carolina