Christopher Hogwood - an obituary
Christopher Hogwood passed away on 24 September 2014.
Christopher Hogwood studied keyboard at Cambridge University with Rafael Puyana and Mary Potts and later with Zuzana Růžičková and Gustav Leonhardt. He worked with most of the leading symphony orchestras and opera houses in the world. Once described as "the von Karajan of early music", he is universally acknowledged as one of the most influential exponents of the historically informed early-music movement. He was equally passionate about music of the 19th and 20th centuries: with a particular focus on the Early Romantics and the neo-classical school where he applied the same rigour and supreme musicianship to all his work, striving to discover and to recreate the composer’s intentions both in notation and performance.
Christopher Hogwood founded the Academy of Ancient Music in 1973, rapidly establishing a place at the forefront of the period-instrument movement. Over the following 30 years he directed the AAM on six continents and made over 200 CDs, including the first-ever complete cycle of Mozart symphonies on period instruments as well as many other first recordings of baroque and classical masterworks by a period orchestra. His iconic recordings include the 1980 recording of Handel’s Messiah with Emma Kirkby and Carolyn Watkinson which was named by BBC Music Magazine one of the top 20 recordings of all time and the BRIT award-winning recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Other previous roles include being a founder member of the Early Music Consort and keyboard player and soloist with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, artistic director of the King’s Lynn Festival, artistic director of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, a tutor at Harvard University, Principal Guest Conductor of the Kammerorchester Basel, Honorary Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge and Andrew D.White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University in the USA.
Honorary President of the AAM, Christopher Purvis CBE commented: “Christopher had extraordinary generosity of spirit. He was a great ambassador for historically informed music, the movement of which he was a founder. And he was happy to see the orchestra he founded develop and grow after he stepped down as director.”
Music Director of the AAM, Richard Egarr said: “I am deeply saddened by the news of Christopher’s passing. Christopher provided a fantastic legacy for me build upon when I joined as Music Director in 2006 and I know he will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him.”
Chairman of the AAM, Terence Sinclair said: “Christopher made music and made friends with equal, infectious enthusiasm. He changed our lives.”
Rebecca Driver, Academy of Ancient Music