Tributes to Richard Hickox
Tributes have been paid to leading British conductor Richard Hickox, Conductor Emeritus of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, who has died at the age of 60.
Roger Wright, Controller, BBC Radio 3, and Director, BBC Proms, said:
"I am deeply saddened by this unexpected news. The classical music world has lost a major figure whose musicianship and enthusiasm endeared him to audiences in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world. He was a wonderful colleague.
"Richard was a magnificent conductor and did wonderful work with many BBC performing groups, particularly his wonderful spell as Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
"He was a frequent conductor at the BBC Proms and his extraordinary recorded legacy is regularly heard on Radio 3, not least his powerful advocacy of British music.
"He will be much missed."
David Murray, Director, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, said:
"All of us at the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales are shocked by the news of Richard Hickox's sudden death.
"He was working with us yesterday on a CD recording in the Brangywn Hall Swansea, when he was suddenly taken ill. Our thoughts at this time are with Richard's mother, his wife Pamela, and their children.
"As well as losing an inspiring conductor, we have lost a great friend and supporter of the Orchestra and Chorus. Richard had a long association with us, first as a guest conductor, then as our Principal Conductor from 2000 until 2006.
"On the relinquishing this post to become Music Director of Opera Australia, Richard became our first Conductor Emeritus.
"Richard Hickox led us in many distinguished performances both at home and abroad as well as on the airwaves and on CD.
"His repertoire was wide and varied but his advocacy of British music and the great choral classics was second to none. His name will live on in the many benchmark recordings he made – we are proud to have played our part in this.
"Richard had a genuine love for the Orchestra, Chorus and our staff – he was a friend to us all and he took a leading part in making the case for the Orchestra's new home, BBC Hoddinott Hall, now nearing completion.
"It's very sad that he won't be able to make music with us in the home for which he fought so hard."
Menna Richards, Controller, BBC Wales, said:
"I am deeply saddened and shocked by the news of Rhichard Hickox's sudden and untimely death. All of us at BBC Wales are proud that he took on the position of the first Conductor Emeritus of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales following periods as guest and Principal Conductor.
"He was an inspirational musician and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales gave some extraordinary powerful performances with Richard as conductor. He will be badly missed and our thoughts are with his family at this profoundly sad time."
Radio 3 Publicity/BBC Wales Press Office