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Richard Hickox
, conductor


Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from September 2000, Richard Hickox has long been regarded internationally as one of Britain’s most gifted and versatile conductors. Winner of a Brit Award and of the Gramophone Record of the Year and Best Orchestral Disc of 2001 for his recording with the London Symphony Orchestra of Vaughan Williams’ Symphony no.2 in the original version, Hickox’s position at the centre of British musical life has been recognised by many accolades. He was named CBE in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours List in 2002, and a long list of awards include a further 3 Gramophone Awards, a Grammy (for Peter Grimes), two Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, the first Sir Charles Groves Award, the Evening Standard Opera Award, and the Association of British Orchestras award. He has also been elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and of Queens’ College Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar.

He has regularly conducted all the major UK orchestras and appeared many times at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Bath, Cheltenham and the BBC Proms; and has had long associations with the City of London Sinfonia (Music Director since founding it in 1971); Northern Sinfonia (Artistic Director 1982-90 and now Conductor Emeritus), and since 1985 with the London Symphony Orchestra (currently Associate Guest Conductor). He also founded the period instrument group Collegium Musicum ’90 ten years ago with Simon Standage, with whom he shares the artistic leadership.

Opera is also a major part of his activities, with recent and forthcoming productions at the Vienna State Opera (Billy Budd), Royal Opera House Covent Garden (Tales of Hoffman, Orfeo ed Euridice), English National Opera (Dallapiccola, Berio and Alcina), Sydney (Lady Macbeth of Mtensk), Cologne, Washington and Los Angeles. At the Spoleto Festival in Italy he has in recent years conducted Rosenkavalier,Cunning Little Vixen, Prokofiev’s War and Peace, and Menotti’s The Consul.

Hickox’s international career has seen him conduct many of the leading orchestras in Europe, Japan and North America; and in the next couple of seasons he guest-conducts at the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Dutch Radio Philharmonic, Orquestra Verdi in Milan, and Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Last season he toured major cities in the UK and Germany with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with return visits already being planned..

Richard Hickox is committed to an extraordinarily wide range of music, which he conducts with a rare assurance. His flair for programming captures the imagination of public and critics alike. Particularly memorable have been his complete cycle of Vaughan Williams symphonies at the Barbican Centre with the Bournemouth Symphony; a Britten festival at the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra, including a semi-staged performance of the rarely performed opera Gloriana; a Max Bruch project with the London Symphony Orchestra; and the world premiere of several works by Sir John Tavener, the most recent of which was a special Millenium performance of his Fall and Resurrection with the City of London Sinfonia at St Paul’s Cathedral in the presence of the composer and of the work’s dedicatee, HRH The Prince of Wales (also available on DVD video).

His phenomenal success in the recording studio has resulted in, to date, over 250 recordings, many which have won international awards. His exclusive association with Chandos Records continues well into the future with a Bridge cycle, a Berkeley (Lennox and Michael) series with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Britten operas with the City of London Sinfonia; the continuation of his cycle of Vaughan Williams symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra ; and Haydn’s late symphonies and masses with Collegium Musicum ’90.

Richard Hickox appears by arrangement with Intermusica Artists’ Management Ltd.

September 2002/ 600 words

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