Leonard Cohen’s lost roommate

Leonard Cohen’s lost roommate


norman lebrecht

July 15, 2014

We’ve been informed of the death of Hugh Davidson, a Canadian composer who hung out in the 1960s with Leonard Cohen and was ever after a supportive friend to young talent. Hugh, who was 80, died after heart surgery.

He studied mosly in England and wrote a ballet for the Bristol Old Vic.

Back home, Hugh (r.) was music administrator of the NAC in Ottawa and head of music at the Canada Council. In 1978, he was made cultural councillor to the Canadian High Commission in London. Latterly, he was much involved with the Victoria Symphony. He leaves friends everywhere.

hugh davidson


  • Brent Straughan says:

    I am so sorry to learn of Hugh’s death. He was kind to me as a young composer and gave me a real boost in the early days.

    I remember our first meeting at the Canada Council. Hugh wore a royal blue bow tie, florid pink shirt with matching, pink polka dotted socks, pale grey pants and blue suspenders! Here was this happy, engaged, intelligent mind staring out at me from quite an ensemble. The effect was breath taking! I felt I was dressed like a little brown mouse, but I had no need to worry, the inner man was all compassion and helpfulness. You did your best for us all, Hugh. Thank you always.

  • Guus Mostart says:

    Very sad to read this. I last saw Hugh two years ago when he visited Amsterdam; a little frail but as effervescent as ever. A towering support to all of those involved in the Canadian Arts scene. He was a great help to me and I was very grateful for his sound advice during my tenure as Artistic Director of Vancouver Opera. We will miss him.