Wind Symphony honors Nelhybel

by Jack Vaitayanonta | 11/19/96 6:00am

The Dartmouth Wind Symphony will celebrate the life and work of composer and arranger Vaclav Nelhybel in a concert titled "A Composer's Life: Vaclav Nelhybel," tonight in Spaulding Auditorium.

The Wind Symphony is a campus student ensemble that performs classical and contemporary music on campus and throughout New England.

The concert will feature French horn artist Daniel Culpepper as the guest soloist in "Concerto for Horn and Sixteen Instruments," a work written for him by Nelhybel in 1983.

Other works in the program will include "Chorale," which Nelhybel based on a medieval Bohemian chant that was born out of fear of the plague.

"High Plains March," which will also be featured, is the only work by Nelhybel that can be categorized as a march.

Some other pieces in the evening are Nelhybel's arrangements of pieces by Smetana, Monteverdi and other composers who influenced his work.

Director of the Wind Symphony Max Culpepper, the father of Daniel Culpepper, will join Gary Corcoran of Plymouth State College, Douglas Nelson of Keene State College and Stanley Hettinger of the University of New Hampshire. Together, they will present brief tributes to Nelhybel for his contribution to college-level instrumental programs and to the literature for band and music ensembles.

According to a Hopkins Center press release, Nelhybel was a native of Czechoslovakia who studied composition at the Prague Conservatory of Music and musicology at the Universities of Prague and Fribourg.

While he was a student, he became known for his work as a composer and conductor on Radio Prague. By 1948, his reputation had spread due to his performances on Swiss National Radio.

Nelhybel moved to New York in 1957 and later became active as a lecturer, composer and performer. From 1964 until his death in March 1996, Nelhybel conducted music and lectured at colleges and universities in more than 30 states.

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