Death of Canadian-US composer, 86

Death of Canadian-US composer, 86


norman lebrecht

January 14, 2021

The influential composer and Eastman professor Syd Hodkinson has died, his friends have announced.

Originally from Winnipeg, he studied at Eastman and joined its faculty. He composed some 280 works in a colourful, post Copland fashion, among them 9 symphonies. Each summer, he conducted the Aspen contemporary ensemble.



  • JussiB says:

    Norman why so many obits

  • buxtehude says:

    Hey he can wake the dead too! No more dozing in the orchestra seats, you pretend-music-lovers! On yr toes.

  • Violin Accordion says:

    Excellent ! Energising . A soup of Walton, Weill , Bernstein etc

  • Ricardo says:

    I remember his Musica Nova concerts at Eastman fondly. Rest in peace!

  • Robert Freeman says:

    RIP, Syd, You have played a very important part in the musical lives of both the US and Canada. Bob

  • K says:

    As an undergrad, I heard, and played in, many ensembles conducted by Prof. Hodkinson. In addition to being a brilliant musician and teacher, he was also funny as hell. He brought a sense of exactitude, and humanity, to the contemporary music he conducted, even though many of us knew we would never again play most of those pieces. While we were in it, however, it was enlightening. RIP.

  • Basso Continuoso says:

    Eastman was the premier school for composition until Schwantner was brought in.

    • Robert Freeman says:

      Joseph Schwantner, a brilliant composer and teacher, was there when I arrived in 1972. To Joe, Sam Adler, Warren Benson, and Wayne Barlow we added Chris Rouse, Augusta Thomas, David Liptak, Robert Morris, Syd Hodkinson and others, a formidable crew!

  • Very sorry. Fond memories of him at Michigan from long ago, and he was a notable help for his entry on QuartetWeb.

  • William says:

    Syd was a gentleman and a real character. Everyone at the Aspen Music Festival enjoyed his wit and music making. RIP Syd.