In memoriam: Keith Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Clarinet

Keith Wilson long portraitKeith Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Clarinet, died peacefully on Sunday, June 2. He was 96.

“The profound influence Keith had on the lives of countless students, colleagues, and friends is incalculable, for he made each of us feel special in his presence,” said Robert Blocker, Dean of the School of Music. “His humanity and humility elevated music and its servants. We were enriched by Keith’s extraordinary life.”

Keith Wilson was appointed to the YSM faculty in 1946 and taught here for over 40 years before retiring in 1987 at the age of 70. When he joined the faculty, he was the School’s only woodwind professor. He served as director of the Yale Bands until 1972. During his tenure, he also served as the associate dean of the School of Music and director of the Norfolk Summer School of Music. MORE

Published June 7, 2013
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Wind faculty reunite with Keith Wilson

By David Shifrin, professor of clarinet

On Sunday, three Yale School of Music faculty members had the opportunity to perform in a chamber music concert in Menlo California called “The Winds of France.” This concert was part of a tour for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and will be repeated today on the Oneppo Chamber Music Series at Yale.

Stephen Taylor, oboe; William Purvis, horn; and I were absolutely thrilled when we heard that Professor Emeritus Keith Wilson was in the audience.

Keith Wilson has been living in Palo Alto for the past several years and recently celebrated his 95th birthday. Wilson is one of the great single most important figures in the history of the Yale School of Music. In a long and distinguished career, Mr. Wilson served as professor of clarinet and chamber music as well as director of the Yale Bands. He was also the associate dean of the School of Music and the director of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival/Yale Summer School of Music.

In 1999 Keith Wilson was awarded the School of Music’s highest honor, the Sanford Medal. He also received the Gustav Stoeckel Award, which is named after the first music professor at Yale and honors faculty who have contributed to the life of the School of Music.

To learn that he had made had made the effort to support his Yale faculty protégés by coming to our concert on a rainy afternoon in February was uplifting, inspiring, and totally in character for the Keith Wilson we know and love.

Published February 14, 2012
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