During his first tenure he conducted the first Australian productions of major works in the repertoire such as Love of Three Oranges and Rusalka (both recorded live for Chandos to international acclaim as part of an ongoing programme). He is widely credited with having developed musical standards and galvanised the house with his energy, commitment and depth of knowledge and experience.
Internationally recognised as one of Britain's most gifted and versatile conductors, Hickox was Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 2000 to 2006 when he became Conductor Emeritus. Hickox was appointed Associate Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1985 and has been Music Director of the City of London Sinfonia since 1971. He was Artistic Director of the Northern Sinfonia between1982-1990 and he has been Co-Director of the period instrument group Collegium Musicum 90 since its formation in 1990. He has regularly conducted the major UK orchestras and has appeared many times at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Bath, Cheltenham and the BBC Proms.
Richard Hickox was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Jubilee Honours List in 2002 in recognition of his position at the centre of British musical life. In 2006 he received his 5th Gramophone Award - the Editor's Choice award for his recording of Stanford sea songs on Chandos with Gerald Finley and the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales. In 2001 he was awarded Gramophone Record of the Year and Best Orchestral Disc for his recording with the London Symphony Orchestra of Vaughan Williams' Symphony No.2 in the original version (which also received a Brit Award). He has also won a Grammy (for Peter Grimes), two Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, the first ever Sir Charles Groves Award, the Evening Standard Opera Award, and the Association of British Orchestras award. He is an Honorary Fellow of Queens' College Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar, and was awarded a Doctorate of Music at Durham University in 2003.
Hickox continues to retain strong links with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, where in 2008/9 he conducts L'elisir d'amore and the Britten arrangement of The Beggar's Opera. Past productions there include Paul Bunyan, Billy Budd, Tales of Hoffman, Mitridate and A Midsummer Marriage. He has also conducted Billy Budd at the Vienna State Opera, Washington Opera and in Cologne; Salome, I Capuleti e I Montecchi and Rigoletto at Los Angeles, and many productions for English National Opera. In 2004 BBC 2 televised his Turn of the Screw (Katie Mitchell production for television). He was Music Director at the Spoleto Festival in Italy for 5 years, where his productions included Rosenkavalier, Cunning Little Vixen, Prokofiev's War and Peace, and Menotti's The Consul .
Hickox's international career has seen him conduct many of the leading orchestras in Europe, Japan and North America, including most recently the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Orchestre de Paris, New York Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2009 he returns to Philadelphia, and to the National Symphony in Washington in 2010; European performances coming up include the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in the Concertgebouw, Tonkuenstler Orchestra at the Vienna Musikverein, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin in the Konzerthaus Berlin and a return to the Orchestre de Paris at the Salle Pleyel for Britten's War Requiem.
He is a regular guest with the Philharmonia Orchestra, with whom in 2008 he will undertake a series of some 20 concerts, presenting the entire cycle of Vaughan Williams Symphonies at the newly refurbished Royal Festival Hall, and touring the length and breadth of the UK, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the composer's death.
Richard Hickox is committed to an extraordinarily wide range of repertoire, including over 100 first performances. Particularly memorable have been a highly acclaimed series of concerts at the Barbican Centre with the London Symphony Orchestra including a number of semi-staged operas such as Billy Budd, Hansel & Gretel and Salomé .
His phenomenal success in the recording studio has resulted in nearly 300 recordings. His exclusive association with Chandos Records continues well into the future with the completion of his Britten operas with the City of London Sinfonia besides ongoing commitments to the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (with whom he recently recorded an acclaimed series of Elgar's symphonies).
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