Opera Scotland

Alan Hacker Suggest updates

Born 30 September 1938.

Died 16 April 2012.

English clarinettist and conductor.

While Alan Hacker enjoyed a successful career as an orchestral clarinettist, he rose to prominence firstly for his advocacy of new music, then for his enthusiasm for authentic performance practice involving the revival of the basset-clarinet as Mozart would have known it. As a conductor he showed equal versatility, as at hoime with the baroque as with a première. The fact that he was, following an illness in his twenties, restricted in mobility, and largely wheelchair-bound, seems to have done little to limit his musical activities.

He trained at the Royal Academy of Music, gained a scholarship for additional study at Paris, Bayreuth and Vienna, and joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1958. He was a founder member of the Fires of London (initially called the Pierrot Players) in 1965, concentrating on new music. He was also a pioneer in the rediscovery of authentic practice in the performance of Mozart's works with the deeper-toned basset-clarinet, and founded the Music Party in 1972 to explore the clarinet repertoire of the early romantic period, including Weber and Hummel.

He taught through most of his career, having become a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1960. He was a lecturer at the University of York from 1976 to 1987, and set up the Early Music Festival, which still thrives there.

Most of his conducting career took place on the continent, and he worked frequently at the opera houses in Stuttgart and Venice

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