Brian Fennelly is the 2013 recipient of the Union College Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award.
With a degree in mechanical engineering from Union College in 1958,
Brian Fennelly b. 1937, began his career as an officer in the
Air Force, with service in the U. S. and Korea. After receiving a B. A.
from Union (1963), he entered Yale on a Woodrow Wilson fellowship, where
he studied music composition and theory with Mel Powell, Allen Forte,
Gunther Schuller and George Perle (M.Mus 1965, Ph.D. 1968). From 1968 to
1997 he was Professor of Music in the Faculty of Arts and Science at
New York University, where he is now Professor Emeritus. In addition to a
Guggenheim fellowship, his awards include three fellowships from the
National Endowment for the Arts, two commissions from the Koussevitsky
Foundation as well as commissions from the Fromm Foundation, Meet the
Composer/Reader’s Digest, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and others. In
1997 he received a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy
of Arts and Letters.
Fennelly co-directs the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, which he founded in 1976. He resides in Kingston, New York with his wife Jacqueline, who played French horn with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic for many years. His son Liam Fennelly is a professional viola da gamba player living and working in Europe.
The current Director of Engineering at Union College congratulated Brian on this honor, reminding him that the award was in recognition of his successfully following his passion with a career in music. Founded in 1795, Union College in Schenectady was the first college chartered by the Board of Regents of the State of New York.