Richard Hickox is one of the most active and prolific of British conductors from the postwar period. Beginning in the 1970s, his recording career has allowed him to interpret most of the major European Romantic composers as well as many important British composers, including Elgar, Britten, Bridge, Moeran, and Finzi.
Richard Sidney Hickox was educated at the Royal Academy of Music and later earned an organ scholarship at Queens College, Cambridge. He made his professional conducting debut in 1971, and his first performance at the London Promenade Concerts two years later. He has since conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the corporation's Welsh and Scottish orchestras, the Northern Sinfonia, and the Halle Orchestra, and regularly conducts the Royal Philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. He has been music director of the London Symphony Chorus since 1976, and in 1985 the associate conductor's post with the London Symphony Orchestra was created for him. He has also been the conductor and music director of the Northern Sinfonia since 1982, and conductor and music director of the City of London Sinfonia since 1971. His work in America has included guest engagements with the Washington National Symphony and the Houston and Detroit symphonies.
Hickox's recordings have been praised for their polish and precision, and although he has recorded everything from Renaissance to Romantic repertory, and his share of accompaniments to various concertos by Strauss, Dvorak, and Elgar, among others, it seems that Hickox's best musical instincts lay with large-scale English works, including those by Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Holst. His recordings of this material, for EMI and Chandos, have been well received by critics and the public. Along with Bryden Thompson and Vernon Handley, Hickox has played a special role in restoring such large-scale works as Elgar's The Kingdom and Caractacus to the listening public in modern performances. ~ Bruce Eder
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