Atlanta composer Richard Prior listens intently as Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Robert Spano conducts the first rehearsal of Prior’s Symphony No. 3 in Symphony Hall in this AJC file photo.

Prominent Emory University faculty member to resign

Acclaimed composer and conductor Richard Prior has taken a leave of absence from his faculty position at Emory University and will resign at the end of August, the school announced Wednesday.

Emory, a private university, declined to discuss why he’s leaving. A university spokeswoman said it does not discuss personnel matters. Prior was Emory’s Director of Orchestral Studies.  He is no longer listed on the university’s website.

Messages left for Prior through a telephone number and email address on his website were not immediately returned.

Richard Prior, Director of Orchestral Studies at Emory University, seen in this 2013 file photo, has led a number of performances with The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Photo: HANDOUT/Ann Borden

Prior has led performances with members of the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, Montreal Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra. He is listed as the conductor and music director of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra. Prior was described in a 2013 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article as “the most gifted Atlanta composer most locals have never heard of.”

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is scheduled to premiere Prior's fourth symphony next year, the AJC reported earlier this month. 

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