British conductor Richard Hickox was born into a musical family on 5 March 1948 in Stokenchurch. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and then at Queens' College Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar.
Amongst his many achievements were giving more than a hundred first performances, founding the City of London Sinfonia and, with Simon Standage, Collegium Musicum 90.
Hickox was director of music at the St Endellion Music Festival (which he created), associate guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, chorus director of the London Symphony Chorus, and principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Internationally, he was music director of Opera Australia, music director of the Spoleto Festival in Italy for five years, and conducted the New York Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris. He worked regularly with the Vienna State Opera and opera houses in Cologne, Los Angeles and Washington.
He recorded many discs for Chandos Records, specialised in British music, and was much honoured and awarded.
Richard Hickox died from a heart attack, suddenly and unexpectedly, aged sixty, on 23 November 2008, whilst recording music by Gustav Holst in Swansea.
A selection of M&V articles about Richard Hickox
CD Spotlight. Special Enchantment - Richard Hickox's 'Light of Life' impresses Howard Smith. '... Chandos/Hickox win hands down.'
CD Spotlight. Buxom and Comely? - Music by Gustav Holst, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... music of charm and individuality.'
CD Spotlight. Serving the Memory - Vaughan Williams conducted by Hickox, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... this series will undoubtedly please British music aficionados.'
CD Spotlight. Divine Service - George Dyson's 'The Canterbury Pilgrims', admired by Robert Anderson. '... suitably exciting.'
Ensemble. Sing ye to the Lord - Roderic Dunnett was at the 2009 Hereford Three Choirs Festival
Ensemble. In Memory of Hickox - Vaughan Williams' 'Sancta Civitas', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Moments of magic - 'A Midsummer Marriage' at Covent Garden, reviewed by Robert Hugill
A revelation - Some personal reflections on the Lennox Berkeley Centenary, from Peter Dickinson
Impulse and space - Richard Hickox talks to Bill Newman at the 2001 Spoleto Festival
CD Spotlight - Bruch rarities. '... the orchestral accompaniment transcends the accepted harmonic idiom, interspersed with Elizabeth Whitehouse's serene arias ...' Should we allow biased opinions to sway musical judgement? with Bill Newman
CD Spotlight - Proud defiance - '... a marvellous sense of immediacy ...' - Bill Newman discusses a new recording of Prokofiev's 'War and Peace'