Opera Scotland

Christopher Hogwood Suggest updates

Christopher Jarvis Haley Hogwood, CBE.

Born Nottingham, 10 September 1941.

Died Cambridge, 24 September 2014.

English musicologist and conductor.

Christopher Hogwood was one of a small group of brilliant scholar-musicians who transformed the style of performance of music, particularly of the baroque period, from the 1960s onwards. He was a founder member of David Munrow's Early Music Consort, and went on to establish the Academy of Ancient Music in 1973.

Hogwood studied at Pembroke College, Cambridge (Classics and Music), where contemporaries involved in music at the university included David Munrow and John Eliot Gardiner. After Cambridge he spent some months in Prague, studying harpsichord and getting to admire the works of Martinů. After his years with the Early Music Consort, exploring a repertoire of medieval and renaissance music that was largely unknown at the time, he furthered his keyboard studies in Amsterdam and worked with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. His establishment of the Academy of Ancient Music in 1973 led on to a career in which he helped to transform performance practice of composers from Purcell and Handel through to Haydn and Mozart. An increasingly international career also saw him work in the USA with the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston and the St Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota (where he was able to pursue his love of 19th and 20th-century music).

His appearances at the Edinburgh Festival, from 1979 on, were generally at the Queen's Hall, celebrating works by Purcell, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Mozart. In 1996 he conducted his one opera here, a hybrid danced version of Gluck's Orfeo featuring Mark Morris's company and Hogwood's Boston band in the pit.

Hogwood made dozens of recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music. His Messiah in 1980 was something of a landmark, and later recordings of opera, oratotio and stage works include Purcell (Dido and Aeneas, Indian Queen); Bach (Coffee and Peasant Cantatas); Handel (Rinaldo, Orlando, Athalia) and Haydn (L'anima del filosofo).

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