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Richard Hickox (1948 - 2008)


Richard Hickox studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London during 1966 and 1967, before becoming organ scholar at Queen’s College, Cambridge (1967 to 1970). He founded the Richard Hickox Orchestra (later to become the City of London Sinfonia) and Singers in 1971, and with them presented programmes of a wide range of repertoire, from the fourteenth century to the present day. His initial reputation was as a choral conductor: he was organist and Master of Music at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster (the church of the Houses of Parliament) from 1972 to 1982, became director of the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus in 1976 and of the Bradford Festival Choral Society in 1978, showing early signs of great promise in conducting major works such as Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius. During the 1970s he was also closely involved in several British music festivals, notably those at Spitalfields in London and at Woburn in Bedfordshire. His period with the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus brought with it the benefit of working with internationally acclaimed conductors: as Hickox himself observed in an interview with the critic Bill Newman, ‘…working over ten years, first hand with Abbado, Previn, Sir Colin Davis—who was particularly kind—Celibidache: with these names regularly, you learn rather a lot!’

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