Thursday, September 25, 2014

Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014)

Christopher Hogwood, one of the leading figures in period-instruments and historcally informed orchestral performance, has died at 73.

Hogwood, a Cambridge University-educated harpsichordist, played in the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in the 1960s. In 1967, he and David Munrow co-founded the Early Music Consort. Hogwood founded Britain’s Academy of Ancient Music in 1973 and led the ensemble until 2006.

He served as artistic director of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston (1986-2001) and music director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (1988-92) and Mostly Mozart Festival of London’s Barbican Centre (1983-85). He also was principal guest conductor of the Basel Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland.

Hogwood held academic posts at Cambridge; the Royal Academy of Music; King’s College, London; Gresham College, London; and Harvard and Cornell universities in the U.S.

His activities as a musicologist included serving as chairman of the ongoing new edition of the complete works of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.

Hogwood was a prolific recording artist, once dubbed the “Karajan of early music.” Perhaps the best-known of his more than 200 recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music were their pioneering period-instruments cycle of the Mozart symphonies and acclaimed accounts of Handel’s “Messiah” and Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” In later recordings with modern-instruments orchestras, he essayed modern repertory ranging from Stravinsky and Martinů to Barber and Copland.

An obituary by Barry Millington in The Guardian: