About the Conductor
D. Kern Holoman is professor of music at the University of California, Davis, where he conducts the UCD Symphony Orchestra. He was founding Dean of Humanities, Arts, & Cultural Studies in the College of Letters & Science at UC Davis (1995-96) and prior to that time chairman of the Department of Music (1980-88) and interim chairman of the Department of Dramatic Art (1994-95). Holoman was a founding editor and longtime managing editor of the UCD-based journal 19th-Century Music, which celebrated its 25th year of publication in 2001-02.
Born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1947, he holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude with distinction in music, from Duke University and the Master of Fine Arts and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University. Additionally he studied bassoon and conducting during the inaugural years of the North Carolina School for the Arts/Accademia Musicale Chigiana Summer Sessions in Siena, Italy. His field research is centered in and around Paris, where he has lived for several year-long periods and maintains a summer residence, Le Vieux Lôgis.
As a musicologist Holoman's work has focused on the music of the 19th-century French composer Hector Berlioz. He is author of the first thematic catalogue of Berlioz's works (Kassel, etc.: New Berlioz Edition, vol. 25, 1987) and editor of the New Berlioz Edition's Roméo et Juliette (New Berlioz Edition, vol. 18, 1991). Holoman's one-volume life and works, Berlioz, was published by the Harvard University Press in 1989 and in London by Faber and Faber in 1990. Evenings With the Orchestra: a Norton Guide for Concert-Goers (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1992, a Book of the Month Club selection), grew out of his six years as chief program annotator for the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra. He has served as advisor, program annotator, or broadcast commentator for the Sacramento, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras and the San Francisco Opera, and has written several liner notes for Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft (DGG) and essays for The New York Review of Books.
Holoman's most recent book, published by the University of California Press in 2004, is The Société des Concerts du Conservatoire (1828-1967), a chronicle of the celebrated Paris Conservatory Orchestra (now the Orchestre de Paris) after documents in its archive. His next book concerns the life and works of Charles Munch, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Paris Conservatory Orchestra / Orchestre de Paris.
Masterworks: A Musical Discovery, was published in 1998 by Prentice Hall / Simon & Schuster in collaboration with Sony Music; the second edition appeared in 2000, and a third "portfolio" edition in mid-2003. Masterworks is a multimedia course of study, consisting of a 400-page book, score anthology, and computer program that includes autotutorials in the rudiments of music, self-paced interactive listening, and a computerized quiz bank. It is the first fully integrated multimedia package in the field; it continues to be published as a Pearson Custom publication, updated for each new offering of Music 10. In 1997 Holoman published The Nineteenth-Century Symphony, a collection of essays on the major composers of the period by leading English-speaking musicologists (New York: Schirmer Books).
Through 2003 Holoman served as a member of an international commission, Berlioz 2003, cosponsored by the Orchestre de Paris (successor to the Société des Concerts) and the Bibliothèque Nationale / Bibliothèque de France and charged with organizing the programming for the Bicentenary of Berlioz's birth in 1803. Among his contributions to the three-year celebration were program notes for the Orchestre de Paris's Berlioz concerts, several dozen entries in the Dictionnaire Berlioz (Paris: Fayard, 2003), and two major essays in the exhibition catalogue, Berlioz: La Voix du romantisme (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale / Fayard, 2003).
As an orchestra conductor he annually leads a full season of performances by the 100-member UCD Symphony Orchestra, of which he has been conductor since 1979. He had conducted the orchestra in a first performance of the newly-discovered work of Berlioz and Rouget de Lisle, the Chant du 9 Thermidor; first modern performances of Berlioz and von Meyer's Marche marocaine and Georges Onslow's Symphony No. 2 in D Minor, opus 42 (1832); and new compositions of Jerome Rosen, Richard Swift, Maria Niederberger, Steven Mackey, Eric Sawyer, Wayne Slawson, and Pablo Ortiz. The 1988-89 season of the UCD Symphony Orchestra commemorated the bicentennial of the Republic of France. Among the projects were an all-Berlioz concert presented jointly with the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra (6 and 8 April 1989), production of modern scores and parts for eight Revolutionary works, and a July 1989 tour of the UCD Symphony and Chorus to French Polynesia and Australia. In June 1999 Holoman conducted the world premiere performances of Jerome Rosen's Emperor Norton of the USA, an opera in two acts to a libretto by James Schevill. In June 2003 the UCD Symphony traveled to France to participate in the Berlioz Bicentenary.
In November 2002, the UCD Symphony inaugurated its new home, the Barbara K. and W. Turrentine Jackson Hall in the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis. Holoman served on the committees for the planning of the hall since 1974.
Holoman was a 1986 winner of the UC Davis Distinguished Teaching Award, presented by the Davis Division of the Academic Senate, University of California. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa (and secretary of the Davis chapter, Kappa of California), the American Musicological Society, the Association Nationale Hector Berlioz, and the Advisory Board of the New Berlioz Edition, and a former Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Fulbright-Hays Fellow, and Research Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1995 he was awarded the UC Davis Prize for undergraduate teaching and remarkable scholarly achievement, presented by the UC Davis Foundation. On 14 July 1989 he was named a chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Republic of France; in February 1999 he was elevated to the rank of officier in the order. In 2000-01 he became Barbara K. Jackson Professor of Music at UC Davis.
For more information, see his webpage.