Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Sydney Hodkinson (January 17, 1934 – January 10, 2021) led an impressive career in conducting, composition, and music education, having received a bachelor’s and master’s of music from the Eastman School of Music, and a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Michigan in 1968.
Upon his return to Eastman as a faculty member in 1973, Hodkinson conducted the school’s Musica Nova ensemble and Kilbourn Orchestra. His distinguished 55-year teaching career also included posts at the Universities of Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Southern Methodist and Rochester, and visiting professorships at Western Ontario, Oberlin, Indiana, and Duke Universities before accepting the Almand Chair of Composition at Stetson University in 2004. For 15 years, Hodkinson also served as Composer-in-Residence and faculty conductor at Colorado’s Aspen Music Festival and School for fifteen years.
In 2012, Hodkinson was awarded the Bolcom Extended Residency in Composition from the University of Michigan. Earlier awards include those from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim Foundation, Canada Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ford Foundation.
Hodkinson’s first album with Navona Records, SHIFTING TREKS, debuted in 2013, displaying a variety of contrasting themes and orchestral flavors. His second release came a year later with his Piano Concerto No. 1 featured on FINE MUSIC VOL 5. Shortly after, Hodkinson released A KEYBOARD ODYSSEY, an album exploring the versatility and spirit of both the piano and organ through the composer’s perceptive style.
Throughout his lifetime, Hodkinson composed over 250 works, covering a wide array of genres including educational literature, chamber arrangements, and large orchestral pieces.