Browse Record

First Name: Willard
Last Name: Elliot
Bio: Willard Elliot grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, and studied at North Texas University, Denton, and the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, where he earned a masters degree in composition by the age of 19! Prior to the Chicago Symphony, he spent three years with the Houston Symphony and eleven years with the Dallas Symphony. He joined the CSO in 1964 and enjoyed 32 uninterrupted years there as principal bassoon until his retirement on January 1st, 1997. He has appeared as a soloist with the orchestra under Sir George Solti, Seiji Ozawa, Jean Martinon, Antonio Janigro, Carlo Maria Giulini, Morton Gould, Lawrence Foster, and Claudio Abbado. He recorded the Mozart Concerto for Deutsche Grammophon under the baton of Abbado. He was also a member of the Chicago Symphony Chamber Wind Players, Chicago Symphony Winds, and the Chicago Pro Musica, which won a Grammy Award in 1986 for the best new classical group. As a composer he was co-winner of the Koussevitzky Foundation Award in 1961 for his Elegy for Orchestra. His Concerto for Bassoon has been performed at both Orchestra Hall and Ravinia Park in Chicago. His Concerto for Two Bassoons and Orchestra (1950) was performed by him and his student, Maria Garavito, at the Conference in Madison this year (1999). In 1986, Willard and his wife, Pat, founded Bruyere Music Publishers to publish and popularize his many compositions and arrangements. Besides his life-long interest in fossil collecting, Willard now has time to enjoy his two young sons, Joseph and Peter. He continues as part-time instructor of bassoon at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where he has returned to live since his retirement.
Source: Journal of the IDRS 26 (1998)