Death of Canadian-US composer, 86

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.


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  • 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.

    • 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!

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

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