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Richard Hickox

Richard Hickox


(1948 – 2008)

Richard Sidney Hickox CBE was an English choral, operatic and orchestral conductor.

At the age of only 24 he was appointed organist and master of music at St. Margaret's, Westminster.

He was also Chorus Director of the London Symphony Chorus and with them he premiered over one hundred performances.

He was appointed as Music Director of the Spoleto Festival, Italy and in 2006, he served as Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, before becoming its Conductor Emeritus.

In 2005 he was appointed Music Director of Opera Australia (formerley The Australian Opera) and with them he won the country's prestigous Helpmann Award after conducting the Australian premiers of "The Love for Three Oranges", "Rusalka", and "Arabella".

He also was responsible for some major revivals of "The Tales of Hoffmann" and "Alcina" as well as "Tannhäuser", "Death In Venice", "Giulio Cesare", "Billy Budd", and Janácek's "The Makropulos Affair".

He copped a barrage of criticism in 2008 by some singers accusing him of declining artistic standards at Opera Australia and at the time of his death the issue was still a matter of conjecture.

He made over 280 recordings with the Chandos label and he won a Grammy Award for his recording of Britten's "Peter Grimes" as well as five Gramaphone Awards.

In 2003 he was awarded a Doctorate of Music at Durham University as well as an Honorary Fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge. Additionally, he received two Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards and the first Sir Charles Groves Award, the Evening Standard Opera Award, and the Association of British Orchestras Award. He was also President of the Elgar Society.

He died suddenly of an annuerism in 2008.

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