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Cover of recordings of Hoddinott's second, third and fifth symphonies.

Alun Hoddinott CBE (11 August 1929 – 12 March 2008), was a Welsh composer of classical music, one of the first to receive international recognition.[1]

Contents

Life and works

Hoddinott was born in Bargoed, Glamorganshire, Wales. He was educated at University College, Cardiff, and later studied privately with Arthur Benjamin. His first major composition, the Clarinet Concerto, was performed at the Cheltenham Festival of 1954 by Gervase de Peyer with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir John Barbirolli.

This brought Hoddinott a national profile which was followed by a string of commissions by leading orchestras and soloists. These commissions continued up to his death and he was championed by some of the most distinguished singers and instrumentalists of the 20th century. These include singers including Dame Margaret Price, Dame Gwyneth Jones, Sir Thomas Allen, Jill Gomez, Sir Geraint Evans and more recently Claire Booth, Helen Field, Gail Pearson and Jeremy Huw Williams. Instrumentalists have included Ruggiero Ricci, Mstislav Rostropovich, Dennis Brain, Osian Ellis, Cecil Aronowitz, Nia Harries, John Ogdon to name a few, and more recently euphonium player David Childs, cellist Kathryn Price and song pianist Andrew Matthews-Owen.

Hoddinott was prolific, writing symphonies, sonatas, and concertos: his style has evolved over a long and distinguished career, from the neo-classicism of the Clarinet Concerto to a brand of serialism which allowed a tonal framework to the structure, combining a penchant for dark textures and brooding harmonies similar to that of another British composer, Alan Rawsthorne, with Bartokian arch-forms and palindromes. However, his move into opera from 1970 helped to broaden his stylistic range and lighten his palette. His music often displays a brooding, darkly lyrical intensity, manifested in his nocturnal slow movements. One of the best examples is his rhapsodic Poem for violin and orchestra, inspired by a line from James Joyce, The Heaventree of Stars. He combined a tough, disciplined writing with a sense of the mysterious and unknown, and can perhaps best be described as a "modernist romantic".

Alun Hoddinott was also a gifted teacher and, as Professor of Music at University College Cardiff, was responsible for the expansion of the Department of Music (with a purpose built building) which became the largest in Europe in the 1980s. Hoddinott taught a number of talented composers during his time at Cardiff including the Irish composer John Buckley and Welsh composers Karl Jenkins, Jeffrey Lewis, John Metcalf and Christopher Painter.

He was awarded honorary doctorates from numerous leading musical institutions including the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, as well as the Walford Davies Award. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1983 New Year Honours.[2]

In 2005, Hoddinott produced a fanfare to be performed at the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Camilla Parker Bowles, having previously written works to celebrate Prince Charles' 16th birthday and his investiture.

In 1997 Alun Hoddinott received the Glyndŵr Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales during the Machynlleth Festival. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arts Council of Wales in 1999, Fellowship of the Welsh Music Guild and the presentation of a medal to him by Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of the official opening of the Wales Millennium Centre.

On 1 March 2007 (Saint David's Day) soprano Helen Field and baritone Jeremy Huw Williams gave the World Premiere of his Orchestral Song cycle Serenissima with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) at St David's Hall. It was announced on this occasion by the BBC Controller Menna Richards that the BBC NOW's new home in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff (later opened on 22 January 2009), would include a specially built 350 seat concert hall, named BBC Hoddinott Hall (Welsh: Neuadd Hoddinott y BBC).

Hoddinott's very last work, the orchestral tone poem "Taliesin", will be premiered by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the 2009 Swansea Festival of Music in October.

Alun Hoddinott died on Wednesday 12 March 2008 at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, aged 78.

Chronological worklist

  • 1948 Cello Concerto
  • 1948 Prelude and fugue for string trio
  • 1949 Nocturne for orchestra
  • 1950 op1 String Trio
  •  ? op2 Two Songs for bass voice and piano
  • 1953 op3 Clarinet Concerto 1, +str
  • 1954 op4/1 Lullaby, voice and piano
  • 1954 op4/2 Fugal Overture
  • 1953 op5 Nocturne for Orchestra (first published work)
  • 1953 op6 Clarinet Quartet
  • 1954-5 Op7 Symphony 1
  •  ? op8 Concerto for Oboe and Strings
  • 1956 op9 Nocturne 1 for piano
  • 1956 Op10 Septet for clarinet bassoon horn piano violin viola and cello
  • 1957 op11 Harp Concerto
  • 1958 op13 Serenade for String Orchestra
  • 1958 op14 Viola Concertino, for Cecil Aronowitz[3]
  • 1958 op15 Welsh Dances Suite 1, orch
  • 1959 Op16/1 Nocturne 2 for piano
  • 1958 op16/2 Prelude Nocturne & Dance for harp and strings
  • 1958 Two Welsh Dances
  • 1959 op17 Piano Sonata 1
  • 1959 op18 Sonatina for clavichord
  • 1959 Op18/3 Elegy for solo piano
  • 1959 op19 Piano Concerto 1, +wind orchestra and percussion
  •  ? op20 Sextet
  • 1960 op21 Piano Concerto 2
  • 1960 op22 Violin Concerto 1
  • 1960 op23 The Race of Adam
  • 1962 op24 Job (Oratorio)
  • 1961 op27 Piano Sonata 2
  • 1961 op29 Symphony 2, for Alan Rawsthorne
  • 1961 op30 Christ and Sinful Man
  • 1962 op 31 Variations for orchestra
  • 1961 Rebecca for SATB chorus
  • 1962 Folksong Suite, 4movts, orch
  • 1962 op32no.1 Divertimento, ob cl hn bsn
  • 1962 op32no.2 Anthem
  • 1962 op32no.3 Introit
  • 1962 op33 Danegeld, SATB choir
  •  ? op34 Sinfonia for strings
  • 1964 op35 Jack Straw Overture
  • 1964 op36 Harp Sonata
  • 1964 op37/1 Toccata alla giga for organ
  • 1964 op37/2 Intrada for organ
  • 1964 op37/3 Sarum Fanfare for organ
  • 1964 op38/1 What Tidings? SATB choir
  • 1964 op38/2 A Mediaeval Carol, medium voice and piano
  • 1964 op38/3 Four Welsh Songs, for unison voices and piano/ orchestra
  • 1964 op39 Dives & Lazarus, cantata, sop bar vv orch
  • 1964 Piano Sonatina
  • 1965 op40 Piano Sonata 3
  • 1965 op41 Concerto Grosso 1
  • 1965 op42 Aubade and Scherzo, horn and strings
  • 1965 op43 String Quartet 1
  • 1966 op44 Piano Concerto 3
  • 1966 op45 Overture 'Pantomime'
  • 1966 op46 Concerto Grosso 2, orch
  • 1966 op47 Variants, orch
  • 1966 op48 Night Music, orch
  • 1966 op49 Piano Sonata 4
  • 1966 Severn Bridge Variation (1966, part of a composite work composed by Malcolm Arnold, Hoddinott, Nicholas Maw, Daniel Jones, Grace Williams and Michael Tippett)
  • 1967 op50 Clarinet Sonata
  • 1967 op51 Organ Concerto
  • 1967 op52 Suite for harp
  • 1968 op53 Noctures and Cadenzas, clarinet, violin and cello
  • 1968 op54 Roman Dream, voice and small ensemble
  • 1968 op55 An Apple Tree And A Pig
  • 1968 op56 Sinfonietta 1, orch
  • 1968 op57 Piano Sonata 5
  • 1968 op58 Divertimenti, fl cl bsn hn vln va vcl db
  • 1968 op59 Barti Ddu
  • 1960 op60 Fioriture (dedicated to Michael Tippett)
  • 1968 op61 Symphony 3
  • 1968 op62 Nocturnes & Cadenzas, vcl orch
  • 1968 op63 Violin Sonata 1
  • 1969 op64 Welsh Dances Suite 2, orch
  • 1969 op65/1 Horn Concerto
  • 1969 op65/2 Eryri, chorus and orch
  • 1969 op66 Investiture Dances, orch
  • 1969 op67 Sinfonietta 2, orch
  • 1970 op68 Fantasy for solo harp
  • 1970 op69 Divertimento for small orchestra
  • 1970 op70 Symphony 4
  • 1970 op71 Sinfonietta 3, orch
  • 1970 op72/1 Suite 1 for orchestra
  • 1970 op72/2 Concertino for horn, trumpet and orchestra
  • 1971 op72/3 Sinfonietta 4 for orchestra
  • 1970 op72/4 Aubade for small orchestra
  • 1972 op72/5 The Hawk Is Set Free for orchestra
  • 1970 op72/6 Floore Of Heav'n for orchestra
  • 1970 op72/9 Concertino for Trumpet Horn & orchestra
  • 1970 op73/1 Violin Sonata 2
  • 1970 op73/2 Cello Sonata 1
  • 1970 op74 Motet: Out of the Deep
  • 1970 op76 The Sun the Great Luminary of the Universe, orch
  • 1970 op77 Piano Trio no. 1
  • 1972 op78/1 Violin Sonata 3
  • 1972 op78/2 Horn Sonata
  • 1972 op78/3 Piano Sonata 6
  • 1972 op78/4 Piano Quintet
  • 1971 op79 The Tree Of Life, oratorio
  • 1973 op81 Symphony 5
  • 1974 op82 Ancestor Worship
  • 1974 op83 The Beach of Falesa, 3act opera
  • 1974 op84 The Silver Swimmer for SATB chorus and piano four hands
  • 1974 op85 Ritornelli for trombone wind & perc
  • 1975 op86/1 Landscapes, orchestra
  • 1975 op86/2 Nightpiece for orchestra
  • 1975 op87 5 Landscapes, Ynys Mon for ten & orch
  • 1975 op88 The Magician, 1act opera
  • 1976 op89 Violin Sonata 4
  • 1976 op90 A Contemplation upon Flowers, sop orch
  • 1976 op91 French Suite, small orch
  • 1977 op92 Italian Suite for recorder and guitar
  • 1976 op93 What the Old Man Does is Always Right, 1act opera
  • 1977 op94 Passagio, orch
  • 1977 op95 Sinfonia Fidei, sop ten vv orch
  • 1977 op96/1 Cello Sonata 2
  • 1977 op96/2 Organ Sonata
  • 1978 op97/1 Dulci Iuventutis SATB & piano four hands
  • 1978 op97/2 Hymnus ante somnum
  • 1978 Sonatina for two pianos
  • 1979 Hymnus ante somnum
  •  ? op99 Rajah's Diamond
  • 1979 op100/1 Scena, strqt
  • 1979 op100/2 Ritornelli 2, brass
  • 1980 op102 The Heaventree of Stars, poem, vln orch
  • 1981 op103 The Trumpet Major, 3act Hardy opera
  • 1981 op104/2a Sonata for 4 clarinets
  • 1981 op104/2b Sonata for 4 saxophones
  • 1981 op105/1 Te Deum
  • 1981 op105/2 Lanterne des Morts, orch
  • 1982 op106 Doubles, Concertante for ob str hpschd
  • 1982 op107/1 Five Studies for orchestra
  • 1982 op107/2 Hommage a Chopin for orchestra
  • 1982 Quodlibet on Welsh Nursery Tunes for orchestra
  • 1982 Six Welsh Folksongs for high voice and piano
  • 1982 The Charge Of The Light Brigade
  • 1983 King Of Glory for SATB chorus and organ
  • 1983 Make A Joyful Noise for SATB chorus and organ
  • 1983 op108 Ingravescentem aetatem
  • 1983 op109 Masks for oboe bassoon and piano
  • 1983 op110 Lady and Unicorn
  • 1983 op111 Piano Trio 2
  • 1983 op112 Bagatelles for oboe and harp
  • 1983 Quodlibet on Welsh Nursery Tunes for brass
  • 1984 In parasceve Domini : 3 Nocturno
  • 1984 Lady And Unicorn for SATB chorus and piano
  • 1984 op113 String Quartet 2
  • 1984 op114 Piano Sonata 7
  • 1984 op116 Symphony 6
  • 1984 op117 The Bells of Paradise
  • 1984 op118 Divertimenti
  • 1984 op119 Scena for strings
  • 1984 String Quartet 2
  • 1985 Christ Is Risen
  • 1985 Sing A New Song for SSAATB chorus and organ
  • 1985 op121 The Silver Hound for tenor and piano
  • 1985 Welsh Dances Suite 3
  • 1985 Concerto for Piano Trio and Orchestra
  • 1986 op125 Piano Sonata 8
  • 1986 op126 Diversions
  • 1986 op127 Concerto for Orchestra
  • 1986 op128 Clarinet Concerto 2
  • 1987 op129 The Legend of St Julian, narrator, chorus and orch
  • 1989 op130 String Quartet 3
  • 1989 op131 Lines From Marlowe Doctor Faustus for SATB chorus brass percussion
  • 1989 op132 Noctis Equi, vcl orch
  • 1989 op133 Songs of Exile, ten & orchestra
  • 1989 op134 Piano Sonata 9
  • 1989 op135 Star Children, orch
  • 1989 op136 Piano Sonata 10
  • 1989 op137 Symphony 7, Organ Symphony
  • 1989 op138 Emynau Pantycelyn
  • 1989 op140 Flute Sonata
  • 1989 op141 Violin Sonata 5
  • 1989 op142 Symphony 8
  • 2001 op143/1 Paradwys Mai, baritone and piano
  • 1990 Hymns of Pantycelyn, cantata
  • 1992 op.145 Symphony No.9 'Vision of Eternity'for soprano and orchestra
  • 1992 Chorales, Variants & Fanfares, brass
  • 1993 op146 Wind Quintet
  • 1994 Sonata notturno
  • 1995 Spectrum 1: Dark March, pno
  •  ? op147 Piano Sonata 11
  • 1993 op148 Missa Sancti David
  •  ? op149 Piano Sonata 12
  • 1993 op150 Six Bagatelles
  • 1994 op152/1 The Silver Swimmer, soprano and ensemble
  • 1994 op152/2 Five Poems of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer
  •  ? op153 Violin Concerto No.2
  • 1995 op154 Trumpet Concerto (The Shining Pyramid), written for Gareth Small and premiered at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, on the last night of the Welsh Proms in 1995.[1][2]
  • 1995 op155 Tymhorau for voice and piano or voice and strings (1996)
  •  ? op156 Poetry on Earth
  •  ? op157 Oboe and Harp Sonata
  • 1996 op158 Mass of Camargue for baritone, choir, piano duet, organ and percussion
  • 1996 op159 Cello Sonata 3
  • 1997 Spectrum 2: Lizard, pno
  •  ? op160 String Quartet 4
  •  ? op162 Clarinet Sonata 2
  •  ? op163 Violin Sonata 6
  •  ? op164 Harp Sonata
  •  ? op165 Poetry of Earth for voice and harp
  • 1998 op168 Grongar Hills for baritone and piano quintet
  • 1999 op169 Celebration Dances for Orchestra
  • 1999 op170 Tower, final opera
  • 1999 op171 To the Poet, bass-baritone and piano
  • 1999 op172 Symphony 10
  • 2000 op173 La Serenissima for baritone and piano
  •  ? op175 Concerto for percussion and brass band
  •  ? op176 Piano Sonata 13
  •  ? op177 String Quartet 5
  •  ? op178 Dream Wanderer
  • 2002 op180 Euphonium Concerto, The Sunne Rising, The King will Ride
  • 2003 Leapfrog for piano
  •  ? op182 Euphonium Sonata
  • 2004 op183 The Promontory of Dreams for baritone, horn and strings
  •  ? op184 Badger in Bag
  •  ? op185 Trombone Concerto
  •  ? op187 Concerto Grosso for brass band
  •  ? op188 Sonata for piano duet
  • 2005 op189 La Serenissima: Images of Venice for soprano, baritone and orchestra
  • 2006 op190 Towy Landscape for soprano, baritone and piano (4 hands)
  • 2007 op192 Blake Songs, baritone and piano
  • Bells Of Paradise
  • Divisions, Concertante for Horn Harpsichord & Strings
  • Dragonfire
  • Guitar Sonata
  • In Praise Of Music
  • Prelude Nocturne And Dance for harp and strings
  • Rhapsody On Welsh Tunes for orchestra
  • Roman Dream for soprano percussion harp and celesta
  • Scenes and Interludes, trumpet harpsichord and strings
  • Te Deum
  • Theatre Overture

References

Bibliography

  • Michael Kennedy (Editor): The Oxford Dictionary of Music (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994) ISBN 0-19-869162-9
  • Chambers Biographical Dictionary (Chambers, Edinburgh, 2002) ISBN 0-550-10051-2

External links

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