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29 October 2014
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Alun Hoddinott

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New concert venue to be named after Alun Hoddinott

Bargoed-born Alun Hoddinott is to become the first Welsh composer to have a major orchestral concert venue named in his honour.


In a special announcement at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales's St David's Day concert in Cardiff last night, Menna Richards, Controller BBC Wales, declared that the orchestra's new state-of-the-art recording space and performance hall at the Wales Millennium Centre will be named BBC Hoddinott Hall.


"Alun Hoddinott is a very distinguished and prolific composer with an internationally acclaimed reputation," said Menna Richards.


"His partnership with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales has spanned seven separate decades.


"Alun was still a 19-year-old student when, in 1949, the orchestra broadcast a performance of his Nocturne for Orchestra.


"It is a relationship that has celebrated and reflected Welsh creativity. Even when he is inspired by the Italian landscape, Irish literature or Russian poetry, Alun's music always retains a rich Welsh character.


"Alun has received many awards but this is a special and singular honour.


"It is entirely fitting that his close working relationship over many years with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales is celebrated in this way.


"We are very proud that he has accepted this honour."


BBC Hoddinott Hall - due to open before the end of next year - will allow a live audience of up to 350 to enjoy broadcast performances and concerts involving the full orchestra and chorus that were not possible to stage at BBC Wales's studios in Llandaff.


The freedom offered by BBC Hoddinott Hall will also enable the orchestra to revisit some of the work it has commissioned over the years, particularly from Welsh composers.


Regarded as one of the most significant composers of his generation, Alun Hoddinott's bond with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales has been life-long.


The orchestra has premiered more than a dozen of his major works and released recordings of Star Children and his 6th Symphony.


Through its broadcasts and concerts, the orchestra has taken Alun Hoddinott's music to audiences throughout the UK and overseas - most recently on its highly successful tour of the United States.


In 2004, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales undertook a year-long season of Hoddinott's work to celebrate the composer's 75th birthday.


After being educated at Gowerton Grammar School and Cardiff University, Alun Hoddinott sprang to national prominence when he was still in his twenties.


His work has been performed all over the world by luminaries ranging from Sir Geraint Evans and Dame Gwyneth Jones to Mstislav Rostropovich and John Ogdon.


Hoddinott - a former Professor of Music at University College, Cardiff - has also been commissioned to write pieces to mark occasions such as the investiture of the Prince of Wales and the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.


The announcement that his prolific career is to receive this unique honour followed the BBC National Orchestra of Wales's world premiere of Alun Hoddinott's new song cycle, Serenissima, at Cardiff's St David's Hall.






Category: Wales; Proms & Orchestras
Date: 02.03.2007
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