A Hint of Bitters
William Ferris -
'Well worth investigating.'
Composer, conductor and organist, Chicago-born William Ferris (1937-2000) was a student of Alexander Tcherepnin, DePaul University School of Music (1899-1977) and Leo Sowerby (1895-1968). As chair of the theory department at the American Conservatory of Music, he toiled at several works for the William Ferris Chorale, a body he founded in 1971 together with lifelong friend, the tenor and librettist John Vorrasi.
Ferris also championed the work of various modern composers and his comprehensive catalogue of friends included English composer and teacher Eric Fenby OBE (1906-1997), best known as Frederick Delius' amanuensis (from 1928 to 1934).
For his part Vorrasi appears in numerous operas and has been active in the music of William Mathias, Ned Rorem and Gian Carlo Menotti.
Ferris never became a 'musical household' name though in Chicago / Illinois church and organ music circles he achieved some notoriety...
Copyright © 7 May 2011
Masterton, New Zealand