- Richard Wilson
(b Zürich, Dec 14, 1946). American conductor and music historian. He moved to New York with his family in 1949 and subsequently attended the University of Chicago and Harvard University, studying the violin with Roman Totenberg and conducting with Richard Wernick and Harold Farberman. In 1975 he was appointed president of Bard College, where he holds the Leon Levy Professorship of the Humanities. Named music director of the American SO in 1992, Botstein has restored the ensemble to prominence through thematic concerts, performances of rare repertory and innovative educational programmes. He became music director of the American Russian Youth Orchestra in 1995, and has appeared extensively as a guest conductor in Europe, Asia and South America. In 1990 he founded the Bard Music Festival, which has presented pairs of weekends focussing on Brahms, Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Schumann, Dvořák, Bartók, Ives, Haydn and Tchaikovsky, with accompanying volumes of essays devoted to each composer. Sceptical of inherited performing traditions, Botstein is most at home in late 19th-century repertory, but is also firmly committed to the music of living composers. His recordings include such 19th-century rarities as Bruch’s ...