(bap. Witzhelden, nr Solingen, 30 March 1772; d Amsterdam, 19 July 1847). Dutch composer of German birth. He received some lessons in piano and theory from his father and his eldest brother; he later studied the flute. In 1791 he went to Amsterdam, where he became a piano teacher. He was second flautist in the orchestras Felix Meritis and Eruditio Musica, where as a pianist he also introduced concertos by Mozart and Beethoven. He became one of the most important musicians in the Netherlands, being on several committees, including the music faculty of the Koninklijk Nederlandsch Instituut voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schoone Kunsten in Amsterdam (1808–47), and the Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Toonkunst (1829–41). He served on the juries of composition competitions, examined organists for church appointments and was Amsterdam correspondent of AMZ (1814–15). From 1823 to 1846 he was the organist at the United Baptist Church in Amsterdam.
Wilms is known as the composer of Wien Neêrlandsch bloed, the semi-official Dutch hymn of the 19th century, and the arrangement for wind ensemble of the piano fantasy De Schlacht von Waterloo. Most of his compositions are in an 18th-century style, although some early Romantic traits appear, notably in development sections. His overture in F minor and symphony in D minor op.58 (1823) are both in Nederlandse Orkestmuziek, ed. D. van Heuvel (Arnhem, 1995).
E.A.Klusen: Johann Wilhelm Wilms und das Amsterdamer Musikleben (1772–1847) (Buren, 1975)
JAN TEN BOKUM
Wilson, Charles (Mills)
(b Toronto, 8 May 1931). Canadian composer and choral conductor. He studied composition with Godfrey Ridout at the University of Toronto where he earned both the BMus (1952) and the doctorate (1956). Additional study at Tanglewood included lessons with Foss, Copland and Chavez. In 1954 he became actively involved with choral music. He served as the organist and choirmaster at Chalmer United Church, Guelph, Ontario (1954–64), founded and conducted the Guelph Light Opera and Oratorio Company (1955–1974), conducted the Bach-Elgar Choir of Hamilton (1962–74) and was the chorus master of the Canadian Opera Company (1973–81). In 1979 he was appointed to the faculty of music at the University of Guelph where he later became composer-in-residence and the director of the electronic music studio. He retired in 1994. Although his early compositions were primarily instrumental, he produced much vocal music later in his career, including an oratorio, The Angels of the Earth (1966) and a number of operas. Héloise and Abelard (1972) was commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company and Psycho Red (1977) by the Guelph Spring Festival. His style maintains a strong emotional lyricism while incorporating an eclectic range of musical idioms. (EMC2)
Dramatic: Héloise and Abelard (op, 3, E. Benson), 1972; The Selfish Giant (children’s op, after O. Wilde), 1972; The Summoning of Everyman (church op, Benson), 1972; Kamouraska (op, Wilson after A. Hébert), 1975; Psycho Red (op, Benson), 1977; Tim (radio op, M. Cook), T, Bar, tape, 1990
Choral: 3 Madrigals on Latin Lyrics, SATB, 1964; And Now Bless the God of All, SATB, org, 1965; The Angels of the Earth (orat, W. McDonald), 2 nar, S, Bar, SATB, orch, 1966; Dona Nobis Pacem, SATB, org/brass ens, 1970; Image Out of Season (I.V. Crawford, F.R. Scott, M. Waddington, E.J. Pratt, J. MacPherson, I. Layton, R. Hoff), SATB, brass qnt, 1973; Missa brevis, SATB, brass/org, 1975; Song for St. Cecilia’s Day (W.H. Auden), S, T, SATB, org, orch, 1976; Un canadien errant (trad.), Mez, T, SATB, fl, cl, hn, pf, perc, gui, vn, db, 1981; The Revelation to John, 3 SATB, org, 1984
Solo vocal: En guise d’Orphée, Bar, str, 1968; Amoretti (E. Spenser), T, pf, 1974; Les solitudes (S.D. Garneau), Bar, pf, 1976; I Am the Earth, the Water (Hébert), S, pf, 1977; Dream Telescope (Waddington), A, pf, 1979; First Book of Madrigals (G. MacEwan), S, fl, ob, cl, vn, va, ca, pf, perc, 1980; Invocation, 8 solo vv, tape, 1982; 2 Voices (MacEwan), Mez, cl, vc, pf, 2 perc, tape, 1983
Tape: Crosstalk D/A, 1988; A Possible Piece ‘In a World gone Mad’, 1989; Ergon, 1991; Ending–New Beginning, 1994
MSS in C-Tcm
Principal publishers: Gordon V. Thompson, Waterloo
Wilson, Christopher (Allin)
(b Redhill, Surrey, 23 May 1951). English lutenist. He studied with Diana Poulton at the RCM from 1970 to 1972, and made his début at the Wigmore Hall in 1977. He specializes in the solo lute music and lute-songs of the 16th and 17th centuries, and has embarked on an ambitious series of solo recordings intended to cover the entire repertory. His playing is noted for its refinement, sensitivity and mellifluous tone. In addition to his worldwide appearances as a soloist, Wilson regularly accompanies the tenors Paul Agnew and Rufus Müller and the countertenor Michael Chance, and works with the singer and lutenist Shirley Rumsey. He formed the duo Kithara (with Shirley Rumsey) and the trio and quartet The Lute Group (1979–88), and has played with the Consort of Musicke, Gothic Voices and many other leading ensembles. He is the dedicatee, with Tom Finucane, of Stephen Dodgson's Sketchbook for Two Lutes. He teaches the lute at Trinity College of Music, London.