American composer William Hawley's music has been heard in London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Cologne, Salzburg, Darmstadt, Munich, the Netherlands, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, and other cities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. A longtime Manhattanite, he now makes his home on the coast of Maine with his wife, Jyoti.
William Palmer Hawley was born in 1950 in Bronxville, New York into the family of an English professor and poet. He was drawn early to the arts, and, following the path of music, found his métier as a composer during his student years at the Ithaca College School of Music and the California Institute of the Arts (BFA, 1974; MFA, 1976). Although his mentors were mainly of the avant-garde (Alan Chaplin, Morton Subotnick, Harold Budd, James Tenney, Earle Brown, Miriam Gideon, Morton Feldman), upon entering the professional world he felt compelled to reconsider the fundamental cultural rôle of music composition, with a view towards reintegrating the emotional and spiritual elements of pre-20th Century Western classical music with the technical and conceptual acquisitions of Modernism, as well as the then newly-rediscovered influences of Indian and East Asian classical forms. Beginning his creative life primarily as an instrumental composer, he gradually found his work assuming a deeper expression in the realm of vocal music, unaccompanied as well as with instruments in chamber and orchestral combinations, which, through the illustration and illumination of poetry in sound, has through the ages borne the ability to elevate and enlighten the human mind and spirit.
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