VIDEO PODCAST: Women Composers - Our special hour-long illustrated feature on women composers includes contributions from Diana Ambache, Gail Wein, Hilary Tann, Natalie Artemas-Polak and Victoria Bond.
VIDEO PODCAST: New Recordings - Find out about Adrian Williams, Andriy Lehki, African Pianism, Heinrich Schütz and Walter Arlen, and meet Stephen Sutton of Divine Art Recordings, conductor Kenneth Woods, composer Graham Williams and others.
The English composer, writer, lecturer, broadcaster, conductor and administrator Michael Hurd was born in Gloucester on 19 December 1928. He studied at Gloucester's Crypt Grammar School and, after national service with the Intelligence Corps in Vienna, read music at Pembroke College Oxford, as a student of Thomas Armstrong and Bernard Rose. He also studied privately with Lennox Berkeley.
As a composer he is known principally for his choral music, such as the choral symphony Shepherd's Calendar (1975), the unaccompanied Five Spiritual Songs (1996) and a series of 'pop' cantatas including Swingin' Samson (1973) and Hip Hip Horatio (1974). His three operas are The Widow of Ephesus (1971), The Aspern Papers (1995) and The Night of the Wedding (1998).
His eighteen published books include The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney (OUP 1978), Vincent Novello and Company (Granada 1981) and Rutland Boughton and the Glastonbury Festivals (OUP 1993). He was co-editor of Letters of Gerald Finzi and Howard Ferguson (Boydell Press 2001).
He travelled widely as conductor, lecturer and adjudicator, on behalf of the British Council, and was involved in founding the Port Fairy Music Festival in Australia in 1990.
Michael Hurd died on 8 August 2006, aged seventy-seven, in Liss, near Petersfield, Hampshire, an area where he was deeply involved in music-making.
CD Spotlight. Restful Indeed - English music by Hurd, Milford and Blackford, heard by Howard Smith. '... an ideal approach in music of pastoral character.'
Ask Alice - On 'Swinging Samson' and musicians' brains, with Classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ask Alice - On learning brass scales, and Starker's Brahms revisited, with Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh
Ask Alice - On Wieniawski at the Pope's funeral, anonymous letters and breaking a leg, with Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh
Ask Alice - Alice McVeigh reviews 'The World of Music According to Starker'
Ask Alice - On the banning and sacking of conductors, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ask Alice - On practicing and counting, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ask Alice - On kissing, washing and Tartini rosin, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ask Alice - Inner voices, composers and cellists, and Mud and Noodles re-united, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ask Alice - Swingin' Samson, problems in the violins and a review of 'La Clemenza di Tito' at English National Opera, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh