"Voyager" by Kerry James Marshall

Olly Wilson, in memoriam 1937-2018

Renowned and beloved composer

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The Center for Black Music Research offers condolences to all who knew and worked with Olly Wilson, who was a groundbreaking composer and longtime associate and colleague of the CBMR. The New Black Music Repertory Ensemble performed hisĀ Of Visions and Truth at the Harris Theater in Chicago in 2011, and a recording of the work was released in the Recorded Music of the African Diaspora series.

In case you missed them, here are two obituaries from the Africlassical blog and UC Berkeley, where he taught.



The CD can be purchased via Albany Records , ArkivMusic, or Amazon. Cover art for the CD is a piece called “Voyager” by Kerry James Marshall, which is at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Used by permission.

If you’d like to explore Olly Wilson’s music further, the CBMR holds a collection of his scores, including the score and parts for Of Visions and Truth and other recordings of his work. See score listing below.

  • Echoes: for clarinet and electronic tape.
  • Akwan : for piano & electronic piano and orchestra.
  • Piano piece : for piano and electronic tape.
  • Trilogy for orchestra
  • In memoriam Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Piece for four : for flute, trumpet, contrabass, and piano.
  • No More : for tenor and chamber ensemble.
  • Voices : for orchestra
  • Sinfonia : for orchestra
  • Trio : for violin, violoncello and piano
  • A city called heaven : for chamber ensemble (1988-1989)
  • Sextet : for flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, & trombone (1963)
  • Sometimes : for tenor and tape
  • Shango memory : for orchestra
  • Lumina : for orchestra
  • Houston Fanfare : for orchestra
  • Expansions III : for orchestra
  • Viola concerto : for orchestra
  • “I shall not be moved”; “Glory falls”; “Equality” : for soprano, with flute, oboe, clarient, horn, percussion, violin, voila, cello, and double bass
  • Of visions and truth: a song cycle
  • Celebration : for Chamber Orchestra

Podcast on SoundCloud about Of Visions and Truth

More information on the 2011 concert, from the eblast / brochure:

Brochure from 2011 Harris Theater performance of Olly Wilson’s Of Visions and Truth

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