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Sydney Hodkinson: Biography

Sydney Hodkinson
1934 -
Region: Ontario

Sydney Hodkinson

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1934, SYDNEY HODKINSON received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from the Eastman School of Music where he studied composition with Louis Mennini and Bernard Rogers. He continued his studies in composition at the Princeton Seminars with Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions, and Milton Babbitt. Hodkinson received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Michigan in 1968, studying with Leslie Bassett, Niccolo Castiglioni, Ross Lee Finney and George B. Wilson. Brief private studies with Benjamin Britten and Luigi Dallapiccola ensued.

Dr. Hodkinson has taught at the Universities of Virginia, Ohio and Michigan and, during 1970-72, served as artist-in-residence in Minneapolis under a grant from the Ford Foundation Contemporary Music Project. He joined the faculty of the Conducting and Ensembles Department of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester in 1973, assuming the directorship of the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble and later, the Kilbourn Orchestra. During l984-86, he served as Meadows Distinguished Professor of Composition at Southern Methodist University and in 1991 was Visiting Professor of Composition at the University of Western Ontario. In 1995, Hodkinson assumed teaching duties in the Composition Department at the Eastman School until his retirement in January of 1999. Since then, he has conducted the New Music Group at Oberlin College (2001), served as Visiting Professor of Composition at Indiana University (2002), Duke University (2003), and in 2004 accepted the Almand Chair of Composition at Stetson University, DeLand, Florida. Hodkinson also currently conducts the Contemporary Ensemble and teaches composition at the Aspen Colorado Music Festival and School.

Hodkinson has written over 250 works covering a vast range of genres: educational pieces, an incredible variety of chamber music, including six string quartets, a prolific output of choral, operatic and vocal music, and large orchestral canvases, with concerti for English Horn, voice, violin, and clarinet. His Seventh and Ninth Symphonies are scored for large wind ensemble.

MONUMENTUM PRO UMBRI, for winds was awarded the 2004 Audience Prize and second place in from the International Harmonie Composition Contest of Harelbeke, Belgium. Recent works include a PIANO CONCERTO, commissioned by the Hanson Institute for American Music for pianist Barry Snyder, to be premiered in the Fall of 2006, the choral CANTATA SANCTA for the University of Evansville, ALLEZ-Y!, a scherzo for violin virtuoso Oleh Krysa and two solo string pieces: SOJOURNEN for viola, and TRANCE for violoncello.

Awards include the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim Foundation, the Canada Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, International Congress of Jeunesses Musicales, Farnsley Prize of the Louisville Orchestra, Danforth Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. Compositions by BMI affiliate Hodkinson appear in the catalogs of Theodore Presser, American Composers Alliance, Associated Music Publishers (G. Schirmer), Ludwig Music Pub. Co., Music for Percussion, Editions Jobert, Ricordi, Columbia University Music Press, Dorn Publications, Transcontinental and Smith Music Publications. Activities as composer/conductor are recorded on CRI, Grenadilla, Louisville, Advance, Albany, Nonesuch, Centaur, CBC, Novisse, Mark, Innova, and Pantheon labels.

Mr. Hodkinson, a US citizen since 1995, is married to violinist Elizabeth Deischer. They have three sons and currently reside in Ormond-By-The-Sea, Florida.

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