This memorial concert honoring Music Professor Emeritus George Houle (1927–2017) will include musical performances by the Stanford Early Music Singers, John Dornenburg (viola da gamba), The Whole Noyse, and others, along with remembrances from George's peers, former students, and friends.
George Houle was born in Pasadena, California, and spent his early life there. From the age of 13, he studied oboe with the principal oboist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Henri de Busscher.
He first came to Stanford in 1949, when he was hired to play oboe for a Department of Music opera and then was offered a music scholarship in lieu of payment. He received B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees and studied with Putnam Aldrich and Leonard Ratner.
After teaching music at Mills College and the Universities of Colorado and Minnesota, he returned to Stanford in 1962 and began to build a program in the performance of early music. His strong belief in uniting the performance of music with its history and theory remained a cornerstone of his academic career. Under his direction, many students were awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree in the performance practice of early music.
During 1972–74, he took leave from Stanford to direct the New York Pro Musica, then returned to Stanford until his retirement in 1992. George enjoyed a happy and productive retirement, with more time to be with his family. He continued his teaching career for 19 additional years, offering fall and spring classes at the University of San Francisco’s Fromm Institute.
In 1998, his friends and former students came from around the U.S. to celebrate his 70th birthday with concerts, musicological papers, and good fellowship. George remains greatly appreciated by his talented and dedicated former students who are playing, teaching, thinking about, and writing about music all over the world.