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Alun Hoddinott (1929-2008)

The prolific Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott died in Swansea on 12 March 2008, aged 78.

Born in Bargoed, Glamorganshire on 11 August 1929, Hoddinott studied at University College Cardiff and privately with Arthur Benjamin. His Clarinet Concerto, premièred by Gervase de Peyer at the 1954 Cheltenham Festival, marked the start of a series of important commissions which continued until shortly before his death - including three pieces to mark various milestones in the life of the Prince of Wales.

Hoddinott, who fought tirelessly for recognition of the arts and especially contemporary music in Wales, received many awards, honours and doctorates and, over a period of forty years from 1967, was reader, professor and then head of the music department at Cardiff University (previously University College Cardiff).

Although he spent his entire working life in Cardiff, he travelled widely, particularly within Europe and the USA, and became an international ambassador for the arts in Wales.

He will be remembered not only for his original and colourful music - he was one of Wales' major composers of the 20th century and wrote nearly three hundred works, including ten symphonies and six operas - but in the naming of a new hall in Cardiff's Millennium Centre - Neuadd Hoddinott y BBC (BBC Hoddinott Hall).

Posted: 17 March 2008

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