The Philharmonic Association is beyond excited to welcome William Henry Curry to our team. We are so grateful and inspired that a conductor as esteemed and experienced as William Henry Curry has accepted the position of Triangle Youth Symphony Conductor!
William Henry Curry is a composer, professor, and well-respected conductor. He is currently the Music Director and Conductor of the Durham Symphony. For twenty years, Maestro Curry was the Resident Conductor and Summerfest Artistic Director for the North Carolina Symphony. He came to the North Carolina Symphony by way of New Orleans where he served as Resident Conductor of the New Orleans Symphony.
His story is one of incredible talent as well as a determination to follow his dream. Curry was led by “an extreme love for this thing called classical music.” A native of Pittsburgh, he became involved with music through a school program that provided him with free lessons and his chosen instrument, the viola. Curry inhaled the music. As he became more proficient, he was able to join the Pittsburgh Youth Orchestra, and experience the incredible sound of a full orchestra. He also found much needed kindred spirits among these fellow musicians. Curry also began conducting as a teenager. He remembered, “after my first rehearsal as a conductor, I couldn’t get the smile off of my face. I was so happy.” Eventually he became a conducting major at the Oberlin Conservatory and took his first professional position as Assistant Conductor with the Richmond Chamber Orchestra and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. He went on to serve as Resident Conductor with the Baltimore Symphony for six years (1978-1983) and with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for two years (1983-1985). He has guest conducted many of the world’s greatest orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Maestro Curry was nominated for a Grammy and is the only person who has ever been the unanimous winner of the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition at Carnegie Hall. When asked about his gift, he said, “There is no one who could love music more than I. No one could respect music more than I. And when I conduct, that love and respect is infectious. And it moves the musicians and they are inspired by it. . .”
The heartfelt letter Maestro Curry wrote to TYS after attending their concert this past May is evidence of his genuine passion for promoting youth musicians. He wrote the following words to TYS:
“Dear Musicians of the Triangle Youth Symphony,
My discovery of great classical music at your age was decisive in my life. The revelation that music from different centuries and countries could still be meaningful and thrilling to a American teenage musician led me to explore many other creative works that otherwise might have remained closed books to me, including the plays of Shakespeare and the poetry of Walt Whitman.
As has been the case with many professional conductors, including Leonard Bernstein my childhood musical hero, at this point in my life I now especially want to work with gifted young orchestral players in order to pass on to them my knowledge and love for the music that has been at the center of my life.
The concert that the Triangle Youth Symphony gave at Meymandi Concert Hall this past May revealed dedication, concentration and musical talent in abundance.I look forward to our work together this coming season as we explore the joy, beauty, and fun of playing great music.”
We are so grateful that William Henry Curry has joined our team. His enthusiasm and love for classical music will surely inspire and motivate the musicians of TYS.