Friday, September 26, 2014

Christopher Hogwood

Conductor and early music pioneer Christopher Hogwood died on September 24th at 73, following several months of illness. He was a founder of the Early Music Consort, with the great David Munrow, and the Academy of Ancient Music, one of the first period-instrument orchestras. With the Academy, he recorded a groundbreaking complete set of Haydn's symphonies, as well as the complete symphonies and piano concertos of Mozart and many other works.

in the US, he was director of Boston's Handel & Haydn Society for a good 15 years. He guest-conducted at major orchestras around the world and taught at various universities and conservatories.

I never heard him conduct in person, but his recording of the Mozart Requiem was the first performance of the piece I found at all convincing, because he performed it as if it were Mozart, where far too many conductors give it the weight and phrasing of Brahms.

He had an immense impact on the musical world and the performance of 18th and early 19th c. music. RIP, Christopher Hogwood.

Plenty of obituaries have been published:
  • Guardian, Barry Millington
  • Los Angeles Times, David Ng
  • Telegraph (I cannot find an author name, but this is quite a charming obit)
  • Washington Post, Adam Bernstein (I was expecting Anne Midgette!)
  • AP (in the SF Chron), David McHugh
  • NY Times, Vivien Schweitzer (See the next post on this blog for further commentary)
Update: The announcement on Christopher Hogwood's web site includes the cause of death, a brain tumor.

No comments: