Donald Walbridge Shirley was an American classical and jazz pianist and composer. He recorded many albums for Cadence during the 1950s and 1960s, experimenting with jazz with a classical influence, he wrote organ symphonies, piano concerti, a cello concerto, three string quartets, a one-act opera, works for organ and violin, a symphonic tone poem based on the novel Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, a set of "Variations" on the legend of Orpheus in the Underworld. Born in Pensacola, Shirley was a promising young student of classical piano. Although he did not achieve recognition in his early career playing traditional classical music, he found success with his blending of various musical traditions. During the 1960s, Shirley went on a number of some in Deep South states. For a time, he bodyguard, their story was dramatized in the 2018 film Green Book. Donald Walbridge Shirley was born on January 29, 1927, in Pensacola, Florida, to Jamaican immigrants, Stella Gertrude, a teacher, Edwin S. Shirley, an Episcopal priest.
Shirley started to learn piano. He enrolled at Virginia State University and Prairie View College studied with Conrad Bernier and Thaddeus Jones at Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C. where he received his bachelor’s degree in music in 1953. Known as "Dr. Shirley," he had two honorary doctorates, his birthplace was sometimes incorrectly given as Kingston, because his label advertised him as being Jamaican-born. According to his nephew, his record label falsely claimed that he studied music in Europe in order to "make him acceptable in areas where a Black man from a Black school wouldn’t have got any recognition at all." In 1945, at the age of 18, Shirley performed the Tchaikovsky B-flat minor concerto with the Boston Pops. A year Shirley performed one of his compositions with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1949, he received an invitation from the Haitian government to play at the Exposition Internationale du Bi-Centenaire de Port-au-Prince, followed by a request from President Estimé and Archbishop Le Goise for a repeat performance the next week.
Shirley was married to Jean C. Hill in Cook County, Illinois on December 23, 1952, but they divorced. Discouraged by the lack of opportunities for classical black musicians, Shirley abandoned the piano as a career while young, he began work in Chicago as a psychologist. There he returned to music, he was given a grant to study the relationship between music and juvenile crime, which had broken out in the postwar era of the early 1950s. Playing in a small club, he experimented with sound to determine; the audience was unaware of his experiments and that students had been planted to gauge their reactions. At Arthur Fiedler's invitation, Shirley appeared with the Boston Pops in Chicago in June 1954. In 1955, he performed with the NBC Symphony at the premiere of Ellington's Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall, he appeared on TV on Arthur Godfrey and His Friends. During the 1950s and 1960s, Shirley recorded many albums for Cadence Records, experimenting with jazz with a classical influence. In 1961, his single "Water Boy" reached No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for 14 weeks.
He performed in New York City at Basin Street East, where Duke Ellington heard him and they started a friendship. During the 1960s, Shirley went on a number of concert tours, some in Southern states, believing that he could change some minds with his performances, he bodyguard. Their story is dramatized in the 2018 film Green Book, the name of a travel guide for black motorists in the segregated United States. In the fictionalized account, despite some early friction with their differing personalities, the two became good friends; this has been questioned by Don's estranged brother Maurice Shirley, who said, "My brother never considered Tony to be his'friend'. This is why nuance are so important; the fact that a successful, well-to-do Black artist would employ domestics that did not look like him, should not be lost in translation."However, in a January 2019 interview with Variety, Tony's son Nick Vallelonga explained that: "They were together a year and a half and they did remain friends". He explained that Shirley, before his death, asked him not to speak to anyone else while writing the story.
He went on to explain: "Don Shirley himself told me not to speak to anyone. And he only wanted certain parts of his life, he only allowed me to tell. Since were not on the trip—this is right out of his mouth—he said,'No one else was there but your father and I. We've told you.' And he approved what I didn't put in. So to say I didn't contact them, hard for me because I didn't want to betray what I promised him."The film controversially depicts Shirley as estranged from his family and alienated from other African Americans. According to others, not true, because Shirley was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, including attending the March on Selma, had many friends among other African American artists and leaders, he had three brothers, kept in contact with his family. Author David Hajdu, who met and befriended Shirley in the 1990's through composer Luther Henderson, wrote: "the man I knew was different from the character Ali portrayed with meticulous elegance. Cerebral but disarmingly earthy, self-protect
John Arthur "Jaki" Byard was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist and arranger. A pianist, he played tenor and alto saxophones, among several other instruments, he was known for his eclectic style, incorporating everything from stride to free jazz. Byard played with trumpeter Maynard Ferguson in the late 1950s and early 1960s, was a member of bands led by bassist Charles Mingus for several years, including on several studio and concert recordings; the first of his recordings as a leader was in 1960, despite being praised by critics, his albums and performances did not gain him much wider attention. In his 60-year career, Byard recorded at least 35 albums as leader, more than 50 as a sideman. Byard's influence on the music comes from his combining of musical styles during performance, his parallel career in teaching. From 1969 Byard was involved in jazz education: he began teaching at the New England Conservatory of Music and went on to work at several other music institutions, as well as having private students.
He continued performing and recording in solo and small group settings, but he led two big bands – one made up of some of his students, the other of professional musicians. His death, from a single gunshot while in his home, remains an unsolved mystery. Byard was born in Massachusetts. At that time, his parents – John Sr and Geraldine Garr – were living at 47 Clayton Street. Both of his parents played musical instruments, he began piano lessons at the age of six, but they ended when his family was affected by the Great Depression. He was given a trumpet that belonged to his father, attempted to copy the popular players of the time, Roy Eldridge and Walter Fuller; as a boy he walked to Lake Quinsigamond to listen to bands performing there. He heard Benny Goodman, Lucky Millinder, Fats Waller, Chick Webb, listened to other bands of the era on the radio. "Those were the things that inspired me – I guess it stuck with me", he commented decades later. Byard began playing professionally on piano at the age of 16, in bands led by Doc Kentross and Freddy Bates.
His early lessons had involved playing by rote, so his development of knowledge of theory and further piano technique occurred from the late 1930s until 1941, including studying harmony at Commerce High School. In that year he was drafted into the army, where he continued with piano lessons and was influenced by pianist Ernie Washington, with whom he was barracked, although Byard took up trombone at this time, he studied Stravinsky and Chopin, continued studying classical composers into the 1960s. Part of his military service was in Florida, where he was a mentor to the young saxophonist Cannonball Adderley and his brother, Nat. After leaving the army in 1946, Byard's musical education continued, through discussions with others, using library materials combined with music school syllabuses. Byard played with bands from the Boston area, including for two years with violinist Ray Perry, who encouraged Byard to add tenor saxophone to his array of instruments, he joined Earl Bostic's band as pianist in 1947 and they toured for around a year.
Byard formed a bebop band with Joe Gordon and Sam Rivers in Boston, before touring for a year with a stage show band. Back once more in Boston, he had a regular job for three years with Charlie Mariano in a club in nearby Lynn, they recorded together in 1953. Byard was a member of Herb Pomeroy's band as a tenor saxophonist from 1952 to 1955, recorded with him in 1957. Byard played solo piano in Boston in the early to mid-1950s and freelanced in that area in the same decade, he joined Maynard Ferguson in 1959, stayed until 1962. As one of Ferguson's players and arrangers, Byard found that his own preference for experimentation in time signatures and freer improvisation was restricted by the preferences of other band members. Byard moved to New York City in the early 1960s, his first recording as a leader, the solo piano Blues for Smoke, was recorded there on December 16, 1960. In 1960, Byard first played with the bassist Charles Mingus, he recorded extensively with Mingus in the period 1962–64, toured Europe with him in 1964.
Byard made recordings as a sideman between 1960 and 1966 with Eric Dolphy, Booker Ervin, Roland Kirk, Rivers. His performance on Dolphy's Outward Bound put Byard at the forefront of modern jazz; as a leader, Byard recorded a string of albums for the Prestige label during the 1960s. Some of these albums included Richard Davis on bass and Alan Dawson on drums, a trio combination described by critic Gary Giddins as "the most commanding rhythm section of the'60s, excepting the Hancock-Carter-Williams trio in Miles Davis's band", although it existed only for recordings. One such album was Jaki Byard with Strings!, a sextet recording that featured Byard's composing and arranging: on "Cat's Cradle Conference Rag", each of five musicians "play five standards based on similar harmonies simultaneously". A further example of Byard's sometimes unusual approach to composition is the title track from Out Front!, which he created by thinking of fellow pianist Herbie Nichols' touch at the keyboard. Popularity with jazz critics did not translate into wider success: a Washington Post review of his final Prestige album, Solo Piano from 1969, remarked that it was by "a man, ignored outside the inner circles".
Giddins commented in the 1970s on the lack
The Philosophy of the Spiritual
The Philosophy of the Spiritual is an album by bassist Richard Davis recorded in 1971 and released on the Cobblestone label. The album was reissued in 1975 on the Muse label as With Understanding. Allmusic awarded the album 4½ stars. All compositions by Bill Lee except as indicated "Dear Old Stockholm" - 5:36 "Monica" - 4:05 "Oh My God" - 9:27 "The Rabbi" - 7:23 "Baby Sweets" - 6:18 "Juan Valdez" - 5:02 Richard Davis - bass Chick Corea - piano Bill Lee - bass Sam Brown - guitar Sonny Brown - drums Frankie Dunlop - percussion
Gunther Alexander Schuller was an American composer, horn player, author and jazz musician. Schuller was born in Queens, New York City, the son of German parents Elsie and Arthur E. Schuller, a violinist with the New York Philharmonic, he studied at the Saint Thomas Choir School and became an accomplished French horn player and flute player. At age 15, he was playing horn professionally with the American Ballet Theatre followed by an appointment as principal hornist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York, where he stayed until 1959. During his youth, he attended the Precollege Division at the Manhattan School of Music going on to teach at the school, but a high school dropout because he wanted to play professionally, Schuller never obtained a degree from any institution. He began his career in jazz by recording as a horn player with Miles Davis. In 1955, Schuller and jazz pianist John Lewis founded the Modern Jazz Society, which gave its first concert at Town Hall, New York, the same year and became known as the Jazz and Classical Music Society.
While lecturing at Brandeis University in 1957, he coined the term "Third Stream" to describe music that combines classical and jazz techniques. He became an enthusiastic advocate of this style and wrote many works according to its principles, among them Transformation, Concertino and Variants on a Theme of Thelonious Monk utilizing Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman. In 1966, he composed the opera The Visitation, he orchestrated Scott Joplin's only known surviving opera Treemonisha for the Houston Grand Opera's premiere production of this work in 1975. In 1959, Schuller gave up performance to devote himself to composition and writing, he conducted internationally and studied and recorded jazz with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie and John Lewis among many others. Schuller wrote over 190 original compositions in many musical genres. In the 1960s and 1970s, Schuller was president of New England Conservatory, where he founded The New England Ragtime Ensemble. During this period, he held a variety of positions at the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home in Tanglewood, serving as director of new music activities from 1965 to 1969 and as artistic director of the Tanglewood Music Center from 1970 to 1984 and creating the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music.
Schuller recorded the LP Country Fiddle Band with the Conservatory's country fiddle band, released by Columbia Records in 1976. Reviewing in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies, Robert Christgau wrote: "Why do I love this semiclassicized perversion when country fiddle and bluegrass music that strives for authenticity leaves me cold? It's all in the candor of the striving; this silly symphony is something else. The melodies are fetchingly tried-and-true, the stateliness of the rhythms appropriately nineteenth-century, the instrumental overkill both gorgeous and hilarious. A grand novelty."Schuller was editor-in-chief of Jazz Masterworks Editions, co-director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in Washington, D. C. Another effort of preservation was his editing and posthumous premiering at Lincoln Center in 1989 of Charles Mingus's immense final work, subsequently released on Columbia/Sony Records, he was the author of two major books on the history of Early Jazz and The Swing Era.
His students included Irwin Swack, Ralph Patt, John Ferritto, Eric Alexander Hewitt, Mohammed Fairouz, Oliver Knussen, Nancy Zeltzman, Riccardo Dalli Cardillo and hundreds of others. See: List of music students by teacher: R to S#Gunther Schuller. From 1993 until his death, Schuller served as Artistic Director for the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, Washington state; each year the festival showcased works by J. S. Bach and other composers in venues around Spokane. At the 2010 festival, Schuller conducted the Mass in B minor at St. John's Cathedral, sung by the chamber choir from Eastern Washington University, accompanied by the Spokane Symphony. Other notable performances conducted at the festival include the St Matthew Passion in 2008 and Handel's Messiah in 2005. Schuller's association with Spokane began with guest conducting the Spokane Symphony for one week in 1982, he served as Music Director from 1984–1985 and regularly appeared as a guest conductor. Schuller served as Artistic Director to the nearby Festival at Sandpoint.
His modernist orchestral work Where the Word Ends, organized in four movements corresponding to those of a symphony, premiered at the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2009. In 2011 Schuller published the first volume of a two-volume autobiography, Gunther Schuller: A Life in Pursuit of Music and Beauty. In 2012, Schuller premiered the Treemonisha suite from Joplin's opera, it was performed as part of The Rest is Noise season at London's South Bank in 2013. Schuller died on June 21, 2015 from complications from leukemia, he married Marjorie Black, a singer and pianist, in 1948. Their marriage produced two sons and Edwin, lasted until her death in 1992, his sons survive him. Schuller was the recipient of many awards, including the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for his composition written for the Louisville Orchestra, Of Reminiscences and Reflections, the MacArthur Foundation "genius" award, 1st p
Leopold Anthony Stokowski was an English conductor of Polish and Irish descent. One of the leading conductors of the early and mid-20th century, he is best known for his long association with the Philadelphia Orchestra and his appearance in the Disney film Fantasia, he was noted for his free-hand conducting style that spurned the traditional baton and for obtaining a characteristically sumptuous sound from the orchestras he directed. Stokowski was music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony of the Air and many others, he was the founder of the All-American Youth Orchestra, the New York City Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra and the American Symphony Orchestra. Stokowski conducted the music for and appeared in several Hollywood films, most notably Disney's Fantasia, was a lifelong champion of contemporary composers, giving many premieres of new music during his 60-year conducting career.
Stokowski, who made his official conducting debut in 1909, appeared in public for the last time in 1975 but continued making recordings until June 1977, a few months before his death at the age of 95. The son of an English-born cabinet-maker of Polish heritage, Kopernik Joseph Boleslaw Stokowski, his Northampton-born wife Annie-Marion, Stokowski was born Leopold Anthony Stokowski, although on occasion in life he altered his middle name to Antoni, per the Polish spelling. There is some mystery surrounding his early life. For example, he spoke with an unusual, non-British accent, though he was born and raised in London. On occasion, Stokowski gave his year of birth as 1887 instead of 1882, as in a letter to the Hugo Riemann Musiklexicon in 1950, which incorrectly gave his birthplace as Kraków, Poland. Nicolas Slonimsky, editor of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, received a letter from a Finnish encyclopaedia editor that said, "The Maestro himself told me that he was born in Pomerania, Germany, in 1889."
In Germany there was a corresponding rumour that his original name was "Stock". However, Stokowski's birth certificate gives his birth on 18 April 1882, at 13 Upper Marylebone Street, in the Marylebone District of London. Stokowski was named after his Polish-born grandfather Leopold, who died in the English county of Surrey on 13 January 1879, at the age of 49; the "mystery" surrounding his origins and accent is clarified in Oliver Daniel's 1000-page biography Stokowski – A Counterpoint of View, in which Daniel reveals Stokowski came under the influence of his first wife, pianist Olga Samaroff. Samaroff, born Lucy Mary Agnes Hickenlooper, was from Galveston and adopted a more exotic-sounding name to further her career. For professional and career reasons, she "urged him to emphasize only the Polish part of his background" once he became a resident of the United States, he studied at the Royal College of Music, where he first enrolled in 1896 at the age of thirteen, making him one of the youngest students to do so.
In his life in the United States, Stokowski would perform six of the nine symphonies composed by his fellow organ student Ralph Vaughan Williams. Stokowski sang in the choir of the St Marylebone Parish Church, he became the assistant organist to Sir Walford Davies at The Temple Church. By age 16, Stokowski was elected to a membership in the Royal College of Organists. In 1900, he formed the choir of St. Mary's Church, Charing Cross Road, where he trained the choirboys and played the organ. In 1902, he was appointed the organist and choir director of St. James's Church, Piccadilly, he attended The Queen's College, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in 1903. In 1905, Stokowski began work in New York City as the organist and choir director of St. Bartholomew's Church, he was popular among the parishioners, who included members of the Vanderbilt family, but in the course of time, he resigned this position in order to pursue a career as an orchestra conductor. Stokowski moved to Paris for additional study in conducting.
There he heard that the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra would be needing a new conductor when it returned from a long sabbatical. In 1908, Stokowski began a campaign to win this position, writing letters to Mrs. Christian R. Holmes, the orchestra's president, travelling all the way to Cincinnati, for a personal interview. Stokowski was selected over the other applicants, took up his conducting duties in late 1909; that was the year of his official conducting debut in Paris with the Colonne Orchestra on 12 May 1909, when Stokowski accompanied his bride to be, the pianist Olga Samaroff, in Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. Stokowski's conducting debut in London took place the following week on 18 May with the New Symphony Orchestra at Queen's Hall, his engagement as new permanent conductor in Cincinnati was a great success. He introduced the concept of "pops concerts" and, starting with his first season, he began championing the work of living composers, his concerts included performances of music by Richard Strauss, Rachmaninoff, Glazunov, Saint-Saëns and many others.
He conducted the American premieres of new works by such composers as Elgar, whose 2nd Symphony was first presented there on 24 November 1911. He was to maintain his advocacy of contemporary music to the end of his career. However, in early 1912, Stokowski became frustrated with the politics of the orchestra's Board of Directors, submitted his resignation. There was some d
Booker Telleferro Ervin II was an American tenor saxophone player. His tenor playing was characterised by blues/gospel phrasing, he is best known for his association with bassist Charles Mingus. Ervin was born in Texas, he first learned to play trombone at a young age from his father, who played the instrument with Buddy Tate. After leaving school, Ervin joined the United States Air Force, stationed in Okinawa, during which time he taught himself tenor saxophone. After completing his service in 1953, he studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Moving to Tulsa in 1954, he played with the band of Ernie Fields. After stays in Denver and Pittsburgh, Ervin moved to New York City in spring 1958 working a day job and playing jam sessions at night. Ervin worked with Charles Mingus from late 1958 to 1960, rejoining various outfits led by the bassist at various times up to autumn 1964, when he departed for Europe. During the mid- 1960s, Ervin led his own quartet, recording for Prestige Records with, among others, ex-Mingus associate pianist Jaki Byard, along with bassist Richard Davis and Alan Dawson on drums.
Ervin recorded for Blue Note Records and played with pianist Randy Weston, with whom he recorded between 1963 and 1966. Weston has said: "Booker Ervin, for me, was on the same level as John Coltrane, he was a original saxophonist.... He was a master....'African Cookbook', which I composed back in the early'60s, was named after Booker because we used to call him'Book,' and we would say,'Cook, Book.' Sometimes when he was playing we'd shout,'Cook, cook.' And the melody of'African Cookbook' was based upon Booker Ervin's sound, a sound like the north of Africa. He would kind of make them weave hypnotically. So the African Cookbook was influenced by Booker Ervin."Between October 1964 to summer 1966 Ervin worked and lived in Europe, playing gigs in France, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Holland. Basing himself in Barcelona, he featured at the city's Jamboree Club, he recorded and broadcast while overseas, making albums with his own quartet, Dexter Gordon and Catalonian vocalist Nuria Feliu, featuring on various radio programmes and appearing at several jazz festivals, including a notorious guest slot at the 1965 Berlin Jazz Festival, during which a twenty-five-minute improvisation left the audience divided, some thinking it Ervin's answer to Coltrane and Rollins, others believing it to be a self-indulgent rant.
In 1977, this performance was issued as Blues For You on the album'Lament For Booker Ervin'. To this day, it continues to divide listeners. After returning to the US in summer 1966, Ervin again led his own outfits in various jazz clubs across the country, appeared at both the Newport Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival. In 1968, he again appeared at clubs and festivals in Scandinavia, broadcasting with the Danish Radio Big Band, he recorded again for Prestige, but in late 1966 was signed to leading West Coast label, Pacific Jazz, for whom he taped two albums,'Structurally Sound' and'Booker and Brass', before switching to Blue Note, a label that like Pacific Jazz was purchased by United Artists in the late 1960s. Ervin recorded two Blue Note albums under his own name,'The In Between' and'Tex Book Tenor', the latter going unissued during his lifetime being released in the 1970s as part of a double album shared with recordings made under the leadership of Horace Parlan. In 2005, Blue Note issued as single CD of'Tex Book Tenor' in its limited edition Connoisseur series.
His final recorded appearance occurred in January 1969, when he guested on a further Prestige album headed by blind teenage multi-instrumentalist Eric Kloss. No further recordings beyond this point have yet come to light. Ervin died of kidney disease in New York City in 1970, aged 39. Most biographical accounts of Ervin's death give an incorrect date, his gravestone in The National Cemetery, East Farmingdale, New York shows the date as August 31, 1970. In 2017, Ervin was the subject of a mini-biography written by English saxophonist and author Simon Spillett, released as part of an anthology package titled'The Good Book' 1960: The Book Cooks 1960: Cookin' 1961: That's It! 1963: Exultation! 1963: Gumbo! with Pony Poindexter 1963: The Freedom Book 1964: The Song Book 1964: The Blues Book 1964: The Space Book 1965: Groovin' High 1965: The Trance 1965: Setting the Pace - with Dexter Gordon 1966: Heavy!!! 1966: Structurally Sound 1967: Booker'n' Brass 1968: The In Between 1968: Tex Book Tenor Back from the Gig - compiling unreleased sessions which were issued as Horace Parlan's Happy Frame of Mind in 1988 and Ervin's Tex Book Tenor in 2005.
With Bill Barron Hot Line With Jaki Byard Out Front! With Teddy Charles Jazz in the Garden at the Museum of Modern Art With Ted Curson Urge With Núria Feliu Núria Feliu with Booker Ervin With Roy Haynes Cracklin' With Andrew Hill Grass Roots With Eric Kloss In the Land of the Giants With Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan Havin' a Ball at the Village Gate With Charles Mingus Jazz Portraits: Mingus in Wonderland Mingus Ah Um Mingus Dynasty Blues & Roots Mingus (Candid, 1960 Mingus at Antibes (Atla
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university in Madison, Wisconsin. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System, it was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. It became a land-grant institution in 1866; the 933-acre main campus, located on the shores of Lake Mendota, includes four National Historic Landmarks. The University owns and operates a historic 1,200-acre arboretum established in 1932, located 4 miles south of the main campus. UW–Madison is organized into 20 schools and colleges, which enrolled 30,361 undergraduate and 14,052 graduate students in 2018, its comprehensive academic program offers 136 undergraduate majors, along with 148 master's degree programs and 120 doctoral programs. A major contributor to Wisconsin's economy, the University is the largest employer in the state, with over 21,600 faculty and staff.
The UW is one of America's Public Ivy universities, which refers to top public universities in the United States capable of providing a collegiate experience comparable with the Ivy League. UW–Madison is categorized as a Doctoral University with the Highest Research Activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In 2012, it had research expenditures of more than $1.1 billion, the third highest among universities in the country. Wisconsin is a founding member of the Association of American Universities; as of October 2018, 25 Nobel laureates and 2 Fields medalists have been associated with UW–Madison as alumni, faculty, or researchers. Additionally, as of November 2018, the current CEOs of 14 Fortune 500 companies have attended UW–Madison, the most of any university in the United States. Among the scientific advances made at UW–Madison are the single-grain experiment, the discovery of vitamins A and B by Elmer McCollum and Marguerite Davis, the development of the anticoagulant medication warfarin by Karl Paul Link, the first chemical synthesis of a gene by Har Gobind Khorana, the discovery of the retroviral enzyme reverse transcriptase by Howard Temin, the first synthesis of human embryonic stem cells by James Thomson.
UW–Madison was the home of both the prominent "Wisconsin School" of economics and of diplomatic history, while UW–Madison professor Aldo Leopold played an important role in the development of modern environmental science and conservationism, articulating his philosophy of a "land ethic" in his influential book A Sand County Almanac. The Wisconsin Badgers compete in 25 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference and have won 28 national championships. Wisconsin students and alumni have won 50 Olympic medals; the university had its official beginnings when the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature in its 1838 session passed a law incorporating a "University of the Territory of Wisconsin", a high-ranking Board of Visitors was appointed. However, this body never accomplished anything before Wisconsin was incorporated as a state in 1848; the Wisconsin Constitution provided for "the establishment of a state university, at or near the seat of state government..." and directed by the state legislature to be governed by a board of regents and administered by a Chancellor.
On July 26, 1848, Nelson Dewey, Wisconsin's first governor, signed the act that formally created the University of Wisconsin. John H. Lathrop became the university's first chancellor, in the fall of 1849. With John W. Sterling as the university's first professor, the first class of 17 students met at Madison Female Academy on February 5, 1849. A permanent campus site was soon selected: an area of 50 acres "bounded north by Fourth lake, east by a street to be opened at right angles with King street", "south by Mineral Point Road, west by a carriage-way from said road to the lake." The regents' building plans called for a "main edifice fronting towards the Capitol, three stories high, surmounted by an observatory for astronomical observations." This building, University Hall, now known as Bascom Hall, was completed in 1859. On October 10, 1916, a fire destroyed the building's dome, never replaced. North Hall, constructed in 1851, was the first building on campus. In 1854, Levi Booth and Charles T. Wakeley became the first graduates of the university, in 1892 the university awarded its first PhD to future university president Charles R. Van Hise.
Research and service at the UW is influenced by a tradition known as "the Wisconsin Idea", first articulated by UW–Madison President Charles Van Hise in 1904, when he declared "I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every home in the state." The Wisconsin Idea holds that the boundaries of the university should be the boundaries of the state, that the research conducted at UW–Madison should be applied to solve problems and improve health, quality of life, the environment, agriculture for all citizens of the state. The Wisconsin Idea permeates the university's work and helps forge close working relationships among university faculty and students, the state's industries and government. Based in Wisconsin's populist history, the Wisconsin Idea continues to inspire the work of the faculty and students who aim to solve real-world problems by working together across disciplines and demographics. During World War II, University