Hugh Wood

Biography

Born: June 27, 1932; Wigan, England  
English composer Hugh Wood wrote in a variety of genres, but seemed best suited to chamber music. His works are generally approachable, though somewhat modern-sounding, fusing many elements from German traditions and even from serial techniques, resulting in an eclectic mixture based on the use and development of motifs. In the end, he must be classed as a cosmopolitan composer who rarely displayed an English character in his compositions. Wood Read more was born on June 27, 1932, in Parbold, Lancashire, near Wigan. He developed an interest in music early on, being raised in a household in which his mother, a gifted amateur pianist, regularly performed. She was his first music teacher and young Hugh rapidly advanced in his childhood and teens. He also developed an interest in composition, but when he reached college age, he enrolled at Oxford University to study history. While there, he continued his musical activities, which included trying his hand at composition mainly for use in theater productions. Following graduation, Wood decided to become a music teacher and served in that capacity at several London schools. At the same time, he pursued musical training on a private basis, studying with an illustrious string of teachers: William Southcombe Lloyd Webber, Anthony Milner, Iain Hamilton, and Mátyás Seiber. His first important work appeared in 1954, Songs From Springtime, for chorus and piano. Having established his skills at teaching, Wood joined the faculty at Morley College in 1958. His String Quartet No. 1 (1962) was one of several works that clearly revealed him as one of England's most promising young composers. Wood accepted a position on the faculty at the Royal College of Music in London in 1962, retaining his post at Morley College, as well. Four years later, he accepted yet another teaching position, this at Glasgow University. Having three at one time allowed him little time to compose and Wood thus resigned from Morley College in 1967. His Cello Concerto, Op. 12, (1969) and String Quartet No. 2 (1969 - 1970) were both successful and impressed critics and public alike with the composer's growth and maturity. In 1970, Wood left his Glasgow University post and the following year joined the faculty at the University of Liverpool. He held this position until 1975, the year he also resigned from the Royal College of Music. He began teaching at Cambridge University in 1976 and was still on the faculty in 2001. Wood's 1982 symphony scored another success and in 1985, he was awarded the Koussevitzky Music Foundation Award. The death of the composer's daughter in 1988 inspired him to produce several moving works, including Marina (1988; on texts by T.S. Eliot), actually begun before her death, and Cantata (1989; on texts by D.H. Lawrence). Wood remained active in the 1990s and in the early years of the new century, writing many works on commission. Among his later efforts were the 1997 clarinet trio written for the Gemelli Trio and the String Quartet No. 5, composed for the Lindsay String Quartet, which premiered it in the fall 2001. Read less
Hugh Wood: Chamber Music / Archduke Trio
Release Date: 11/10/2009   Label: Toccata Classics  
Catalog: 75   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-12 of 12 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Hugh Wood: Wild Cyclamen
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 201 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugh Wood
    Performer:  Iain Burnside,  Clare McCaldin,  Simon Lepper,  James Gilchrist  ... 
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  • 2.
    The Thurston Connection: English Music For Clarinet & Piano
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8571357 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Roger Fiske,  Iain Hamilton,  Hugh Wood  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Buckle,  Nicholas Cox
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  • 3.
    New Music Collections, Vol. 3: Orchestral
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 206 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Causton,  Dominic Muldowney,  Nicholas Maw,  Richard Ayres  ... 
    Performer:  Roy Carter,  Wim Timmermans,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Robin Michael
    Conductor:  Nicholas Collon,  Michael T. Thomas,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Roland Kluttig  ... 
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  • 4.
    The Thurston Connection - English Music For Clarinet And Piano / Cox, Buckle
    Label: British Music Society   Catalog: 440 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Roger Fiske,  Iain Hamilton,  Hugh Wood  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Buckle,  Nicholas Cox
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  • 5.
    Hugh Wood: Chamber Music / Archduke Trio
    Label: Toccata Classics   Catalog: 75 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugh Wood
    Performer:  Roger Heaton,  Paul Silverthorne
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The London Archduke Trio
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  • 6.
    Wood: String Quartets 1 & 2, Etc; Fricker, Berkeley, Dalby, Mccabe, Rainier
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 304 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John McCabe,  Martin Dalby,  Peter Racine Fricker,  Lennox Berkeley  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber,  John McCabe,  Brian Hawkins,  Perry Hart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Oboe Band,  Dartington String Quartet
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  • 7.
    The NMC Songbook
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 150 Release Date: 03/31/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Roderick Williams,  Rupert Bawden,  Bayan Northcott,  Emily Howard  ... 
    Performer:  Iain Burnside,  Roderick Williams,  Huw Watkins,  Jean Rigby  ... 
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  • 8.
    New French Song / Alison Smart, Katharine Durran
    Label: Metier   Catalog: 92100 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tarik O'Regan,  Sadie Harrison,  Will Todd,  Edward Cowie  ... 
    Performer:  Katharine Durran,  Alison Smart
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  • 9.
    Brahms, Beethoven, Hugh Wood: Clarinet Trios / Trio Gemelli
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25009 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugh Wood,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  John Bradbury,  Adrian Bradbury,  Emily Segal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Gemelli
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  • 10.
    Hugh Wood: Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto / Atherton, Et Al
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 82 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugh Wood
    Performer:  Moray Welsh,  Manoug Parikian
    Conductor:  David Atherton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Wood: Symphony, Scenes From Comus / Davis, Bbc So
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 70 Release Date: 11/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugh Wood
    Performer:  Geraldine McGreevy,  Daniel Norman
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Prime Cuts
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 09/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Grace Williams,  Brian Elias,  Judith Weir,  Jonathan Harvey  ... 
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