photo by

Paul Kiler


The music of William Vollinger is described as

“3D: different, deep and direct.” Through it he

explores new ways to combine words and music,

both spoken and sung, as well as to sympathetically

describe the human condition, be it sad, funny or both.

2014 premieres included the Jackson State Symphony,

the San Francisco Choral Artists, the Ridgewood Concert Band, and the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony.

Hartshorn Recordings is recording an album of his

major vocal compositions to be released this year.

Much of his music has been performed by groups

such as the Gregg Smith Singers, who recently

premiered “The Torrent”, a collaboration with the

English poet Jenny Joseph; and the New York

Vocal Arts Ensemble, whose performance of his

“Three Songs About the Resurrection” won first

prize at the 1990 Geneva International Competition.

“The Violinist in the Mall” won the 2005 Friends

and Enemies of New Music competition. Sound

Portraits, a collection of his vocal works, features

soprano Linda Ferraira and is recorded by Capstone.

“Raspberry Man” was premiered at the 2009 SCI

National Conference and was released by Navona

Recordings in 2011. Vollinger’s music is published

by Abingdon, API, Heritage, Neil A. Kjos, Lawson-

Gould, and Laurendale, with five pieces featured as

Editor’s Choices in the Pepper Catalogue.

A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, he

teaches Composition and Music of Diverse Cultures

at Nyack College. He is music director at Church of

the Savior in Paramus, NJ, where he also sings, plays piano and organ. He and his wife Chalagne are

both blessed to be the parents of two daughters,

Mary Andrus and Sara Franco, and four

grandchildren, Jacob, Arianna, Lily and Elijah.

“I have known his work for years and believe, after

much consideration, that there is genius in it. With

astonishing depth and clarity, Vollinger brings his

subjects to life. One finds a new musical language,

not born out of a desire to be new, but a desire to

be clear and to tell the truth. With all it’s freshness,

it is rooted in our past traditions, felicitously

circumventing all the chaos, all the attitudinizing,

and intellectualizing, and publicizing, that litter

the present musical horizon. ”  


    “Fanfare” Magazine

It’s taken me a long time to learn this: I am not a piece of music. I’m not even

comfortable calling myself a composer. I am supposed to compose, and even

to promote what I compose, hence this website. But composing is what I do,

not who I am. I am a person, whether everybody knows my name, or nobody

knows it. Gender or race or orientation or education or age or notoriety don’t

change any of the notes on a page or a pdf. When we try to draw our identity

from what people think of us, it never works, because we require a Higher

Source. People see categories. God sees people. And I am still learning.