Death of a US orchestra builder, 89

Death of a US orchestra builder, 89


norman lebrecht

August 03, 2022

Tim Page has written a Washington Post obituary of William Hudson, a conductor who came to the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra when it had 60 unpaid musicians and left it 36 years later with 110, fully paid.

His motto? ‘A conductor’s work is never finished.’



photo: Dennis Whitehead


  • Jay Shulman says:

    My late aunt and uncle, Violet Shulman Herz and her husband Henry A. Herz were longtime supporters of the Fairfax Symphony and held Bill Hudson in high regard.

  • Jon H says:

    Hudson would get top notch soloists, like Santiago Rodriguez and Barry Tuckwell. There’s a CD with Rodriguez and the FSO doing the Warsaw concerto – a great CD for blindfold/guess that orchestra.

  • william osborne says:

    William Hudson did a noble and heroic job. Sadly, circumstances were often against him due to the lack of public arts support in the USA. This season, the orchestra has only five regular concerts and two Nutcrackers. Happily, it also has some children’s concerts in parks. Washington DC (the metro area of which Fairfax is a part) does not even rank in the top 100 cities for opera performances per year, even though the city has about the 9th or 10th largest metro GDP in the world. I feel it is important that we understand the context in which heroic artists like Hudson work, even if the media avoids the topic.

    • Jack. says:

      Very very well said. Trying to work with orchestras around the dc area have been a joke. No one supports the arts around the area. And for the musicians that are phenomenal at their instruments, they can’t even get an audition with say the national symphony orchestra because it’s audition by invitation only. That man created a world out of nothing and against all odds. He did beyond great. He made an orchestra a better model than the others around it by a long shot!

    • Hayne says:

      Mr. Osborne,
      Washington DC is only about power. Everything else is secondary.

  • Joyce Ramee says:

    Bill Hudson was a great mentor in my life. I was his principal violist, as a high school student, during the early years when he was building Fairfax Symphony. We remained friends for these 40+ yearsand I am going to miss him so much. RIP Bill!