The Musical and Personal Legacy of William Byron Webster

About William Webster


William Byron Webster is an opera composer, scholar, and social activist. His operas Cyrano de Bergerac and The Little Match Girl have been the object of extreme appreciation by a dedicated group of admirers. Mr. Webster grew up in Palo Alto, California, raised by parents who instilled in him what has been a lifetime passion for and commitment to social justice. He holds a B.A. in Music, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in German Language and Literature, all from Stanford University, and has taught at the University of Wyoming, Case Western Reserve University, and Texas A&M Commerce University. He retired after serving as an administrator at Stanford University, where he was officially declared, by the Office of the President of the University, a “Community Treasure.”

The latter part of his life has been devoted to community service working to help the underprivileged and to advance social justice. He is a founder of the group FreedomArts, and his Prelude to Intolerance: Meditations on the Life of Anne Frank for violin and piano and cantata and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights were performed on the FreedomArts Education Association’s commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco, in Palo Alto on 11 June 1995.   The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has subsequently been performed both in Palo Alto and for FreedomArts’ fiftieth anniversary commemoration of the founding of UNICEF in December 1996.

Mr. Webster has served and continues to serve on numerous community organizations in many capacities. His tireless efforts to make a difference in the community … particularly in the areas of housing equity and fairness and tenant rights … have been widely recognized and commended in the communities he serves.

William Byron Webster as seen by others.