George, William B. (1936-2020)

George, William B. (1936-2020)

Date Updated



School of Music and Dance

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

University of Iowa, Music Theory, 1971 Ph.D.

University of Iowa, Music Performance (French horn), 1962 MFA

University of Iowa, Music Performance (French horn), 1961 MA

California State University, Fresno, Performance (French horn), 1959, BA Special Secondary Teaching Credential

Teaching Experience

Emeritus Professor, School of Music and Dance, San Jose State University, 2005-

Professor of Music, School of Music and Dance, San Jose State University, 1965 – 2005

Instructor of Music, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico, 1962- 1965

Administrative and Professional Experience

Acting Director, School of Music and Dance, 1999-2000


American Beethoven Society & Beethoven Center Boards, President, 2008-

American Beethoven Society, Secretary, 2005 -2008

College Music Society, Program Chair for National Meeting, Nov. 3-7, 2004 in San Francisco, California, 2003-2004

College Music Society, Pacific Central Chapter, President, 1994-1995; Treasurer, 1991-1994

American Beethoven Society, Member Executive Board, 1985-2020

SJSU School of Music, Graduate Coordinator/Advisor, 1973-2000

Memberships: Society for Music Theory, American Musicological Society, College Music Society, International Horn Society, American Beethoven Society, American Federation of Musicians (1953-2005).

Selected Publications

Hornist with:

  • San Jose Symphony,
  • Santa Clara Philharmonic,
  • Amici della Musica Chamber Orchestra,
  • Musicke Faire Chamber Orchestra,
  • Young Audiences Woodwind Quintet,
  • San Jose Music Theatre,
  • as well as freelance, 1965 – 1980s

CD reviewer for High Performance Review (Vols. 1-2), 1981-82. Stanford, CA: Delbridge Publications.

“Barenboim on Beethoven” in Beethoven Newsletter, 6/3 (Winter 1991), 68-71.

Coordinator, Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference San Francisco: International Computer Music Association, 1992, 497.

Session Chair, “19th Century American Music Publishing,” Society for American Music, Asilomar, CA. February 12-14, 1993.

Textbook manuscript reviews for Wadsworth, Worth, Harper/Collins, Addison Wesley. 1980s – 1990s

Manuscript reviewer for the Beethoven Journal (formerly Beethoven Newsletter), 1980s – 1990s

Indexer, Beethoven Bibliography Database, 2006-

Personal Commentary

Bill came to San José State University in 1965, where he taught French horn, music theory (including Schenkerian analysis), and graduate courses in the School of Music and Dance for 40 years. He was a beloved professor to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students, known for his fastidious lectures, sense of humor, and deep concern for all of his students.

Bill George was a founding member of the Executive Board of the American Beethoven Society, which was founded in 1983 to establish and support The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at SJSU: Bill took early retirement in 2000 and fully retired in 2005. He continued volunteering at the Beethoven Center with the Bibliography (Gateway) project that the Center is continuing. He remained on the board until his passing and is the longest serving member of the board.

He loved geology, gardening, target shooting, hiking and water. We had a sailboat on the Bay and Delta for about 13 years. Bill helped build a 100 foot sailboat and then we got to sail her down to Southern California. Bill worked for the Park Service, in the back country and as Seasonal Park Ranger, for several seasons.Bill was a bicyclist in his younger days. He enjoyed walking and walked about everywhere within reason he could.

We enjoyed traveling and he was a great tour guide no matter where we went. He always did a lot of reading about the places we were going to visit. This made for great conversations with our tour guides.

Bill enjoyed local history and enjoyed showing any visitor the city. Although his favorite city was San Francisco. He was an avid reader of non-fiction. He was always full of questions. Always listening and watching. Bill has a large library at home and built the bookshelves to hold the continual influx of books. When he retired he had to buy extra to fit his library from his office.


George, William B. (1936-2020)