Hurray for Hollywood
There is a saying in Hollywood that actor Jack Nicholson picks up Oscar awards like Richard Hickox picks up music and record prizes. Well, maybe it's the other way around!

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Whichever, while he was spending time at a Hollywood apartment during a hugely successful run of Salome performances at the Los Angeles Opera in January, Hickox (winner of three Gramophone Awards in four years as well as a Grammy last year) learned that he was not only nominated for further awards by both organisations but that the production of Britten's Paul Bunyan, which he had recently conducted for the Royal Opera in London to great acclaim, had been awarded Britain's most prestigious prizes: an Olivier Award (named after the great actor) as well as the Evening Standard Drama Award for the most successful opera production of 1997. And if that wasn't enough, the Association of British Orchestras presented him with their prestigious annual award for his services to British orchestral life (the only other conductor to have previously won this award is Sir Simon Rattle).

But it is Hickox's international sucess in major concert halls and opera houses around the world that has been of special significance of late. Berlin, Cologne, Vienna, Hamburg, Paris, New York, Dallas, Washington, Los Angeles and Tokyo have all heaped praise on Hickox following concerts or operas, and plans are already set for him to return to all these cities again before the end of 2000. In the meantime, he celebrated his 50th birthday in March when he returned to his roots to give a celebratory concert with the Northern Sinfonia, of which he was formerly music Director, while at the same time signing a new five-year/30-disc exclusive contract with Chandos Records, which will continue to feature recordings with his two titled orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia, as well as the BBC Philharmonic, Danish Radio and Collegium Musicum London for baroque repertoire. Oh, and there will be several trips back to Los Angeles in the future - next time Rosenkavalier with an all-star cast at the end of 1999. So watch out Hollywood - "a Brit is coming..."

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