Tribute to John Hopkins OBE
02 Oct 2013 14:38
We at SOUNZ were sad to hear that John Hopkins OBE, conductor, educator and champion of contemporary music passed away in Melbourne on October 1st, 2013.
Professor Hopkins was born in Yorkshire, UK. He moved to New Zealand in 1957 and then to Australia in 1963, but still continued to support New Zealand composed music.
He was also responsible for the premiere performances of a number of major New Zealand works, in particular he was associated with Lilburn’s three symphonies. His recordings included numerous New Zealand and Australian works.
He led the National Orchestra of New Zealand (later NZSO) as well as the New Zealand Opera Company, and founded the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra. He also conducted the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 1987 for one of New Zealand’s first Composers’ Reading Workshops.
Professor Hopkin’s distinguished career spanned 60 years. In the 1950s he became the youngest person to conduct a major British orchestra and in the 1960s he was Federal Director of Music for the ABC. His last position was head of conducting at the University of Melbourne.
For details of his time and contributions in Australia, please visit the Australian Music Centre website here.
SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music acknowledges the inspiring role that John Hopkins played in championing new music - and wishes to pass on condolences to his family and friends, and the colleagues, students and musicians that worked with him.
Please feel free to add tribute comments on our special Facebook post here .
Sources: The Australian, University of Melbourne and Wikipedia
• The Australian: Tributes flow for visionary John Hopkins
Hear RNZ Concert recordings with John Hopkins conducting:
• Nigel Keay: Movement for Orchestra, (APO)
• Edwin Carr: Electra (NZSO)
• Kit Powell: Reading Gaol (NZSO)
CDs with John Hopkins conducting (including some samples):
• Jack Winter's Dream and Three Sea Songs from Ashley Heenan: Orchestral Music (NZSO)
• Lilburn: Three Symphonies (NZSO)