The American baritone, Neil Wilson, was born in Tucumcari, New Mexico - a town half way between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas. He graduated with a B.F.A. in Music from University of New Mexico (UNM) in 1952. Following two years active duty with the U.S. Navy, returned to complete his Master’s degree in vocal performance in 1955, studying voice with Jane Snow and Bess Curry Redmond. Subsequently, he earned a Ph.D. at Indiana University, where he studied with Dorothea Manski and Paul Matthen.
Neil Wilson has sung to critical acclaim throughout the USA and Germany during a wide-ranging career as teacher and singer. He has been a soloist at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and with the Seattle, Denver, Oregon, Richmond, San Antonio, Spokane (numerous appearances, including presentations of George Frideric Handel's Messiah, Gustav Mahler's Eight Symphony and L.v. Beethoven's Missa Solemnis), Eugene, Annapolis, and Rochester symphonies, as well as with the Oregon Bach Festival, Eugene Concert Choir, Cascade Music Festival, Grand Teton Festival, Peter Britt Festival, Alaska Music Festival, and the Richmond Big Gig. He was a recording artist with South German Radio in Stuttgart and soloist in recital and oratorio performances in Cologne, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Detmold, and Oldenburg as well as Lyon and St. Etienne, France.
Neil Wilson has sung leading and supporting roles in more than forty opera and musical theatre productions with Portland Opera Association, Opera Southwest, Opera Roanoke, Eugene Opera, and Oregon Repertory Theater. He was soloist in performances of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with Atlanta Ballet and Richmond Ballet and performed G. Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with Pacific Northwest Ballet in the Seattle Opera House. He is also remembered for his role of Captain in The Sound of Music.
Neil Wilson’s academic career spanned over forty years. He was member of the faculty of Eastern Oregon University, the University of Oregon, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and finally Virginia Commonwealth University, where he retired as emeritus professor in 1996. He also served twice as Director of the University of Oregon's German Music Center in Oldenburg and Heutingsheim, Germany.
Neil Wilson and his wife moved to Oregon in 2004 to be near family. He continues to be an active baritone and bass-baritone soloist. In fall 2006 he sang the bass solos in Haydn’s The Seasons and G.F. Handel’s Messiah with two choral organizations in Las Vegas, NV and Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors in Eugene, Oregon, and the baritone solos in Carmina Burana with the Peoria Symphony. While he no longer teaches voice lessons, he occasionally gives master-classes at colleges and universities in the Northwest.