Obituary: William Hudson, longtime Fairfax Symphony music director, 89

Posted on: August 3, 2022

“William Hudson, a pianist and conductor who led the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra for 36 years, establishing it as a leading regional orchestra in the capital area, died July 12 at his home in Vienna, Va. He was 89,” writes Tim Page in Tuesday’s (8/2) Washington Post. “In 1971, Mr. Hudson, then a new member of the conducting faculty at the University of Maryland, won an audition to take over a struggling, unpaid, 60-piece occasional orchestra … founded 14 years earlier…. The appointment of Mr. Hudson turned things around quickly. For the first time, auditions were held to select the musicians in the orchestra. By 1977, the FSO was made up of 110 musicians … and players were paid for every concert…. In 1990, the FSO moved to the 1,850-seat Center for the Arts at George Mason University, where it remains today, under the direction of Christopher Zimmerman. William Lee Hudson … received a bachelor’s degree in 1957 from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from Yale School of Music and did conducting studies at the Tanglewood music festival in Massachusetts. In 1970, he joined the University of Maryland faculty, where he remained until his retirement from teaching in 1999. He has no immediate survivors.”