The Mary Renault Society

The Triangle Area of North Carolina

CENSORED! - Classical Music That Has Been Cancelled

William Henry Curry

Learn about the censorship of music for all the wrong reasons. Great music they don’t want you to hear – and WHY.

Our speaker, William Henry Curry, had relatively little music in his Pittsburgh home when young … until the family got a record player. Then, at age 10, Curry began conducting in front of it with the baton that came with it. In the sixth grade, he began playing music, and he actually began conducting and composing at the age of 14.

After graduating from Oberlin, he began work as a viola player with the Richmond Chamber Orchestra, where, in his first year, on just 10 hours’ notice, he was called on to conduct the massive orchestra and chorus, with soloists, in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

He served as a conductor for the Baltimore Symphony and then the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and then he was an associate conductor for the Indianapolis Symphony when, in 1988, he became that year’s winner of the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition (an annual prize for conductors under the age of 35); this included a conducting appearance with the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall.

Maestro Curry came to the NC Symphony in 1996 from the New Orleans Symphony. While here, he led the orchestra’s first performances of several symphonies of Sibelius, Bruckner, Liszt, and Tchaikovsky, and he also had the honor of conducting some of his own compositions. He retired in 2016 after 20 years with the NC Symphony, partly to concentrate on his job as Music Director of the Durham Symphony Orchestra (he took that position in 2009) and to have more time for composing.

In his more than four decades of musical service, Maestro Curry has directed more than 50 orchestras in the U.S. and overseas, including a few stints conducting opera and ballet; last week saw him conduct the premiere of a new composition of his own. The results are profound.

Maestro Curry’s previous presentations to the Mary Renault Society were intensely well enjoyed; Come be with us for another.


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