Hurd, Michael (John)

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Hurd, Michael (John)

Hurd, Michael (John), English composer, conductor, broadcaster, and writer on music; b. Gloucester, Dec. 19, 1928. He was a pupil of Thomas Armstrong and Bernard Rose at Pembroke Coll., Oxford (1950–53), and of Lennox Berkeley (1954–56). He taught at the Royal Marines School of Music (1953–59), and from 1956 was a broadcaster with the BBC. His compositions are written in an accessible style; among his lighter scores, the “pop” cantatas have been particularly successful.


dramatic:Little Billy, children’s opera (1964); Mr. Punch, operatic entertainment for young people (1970); The Widow of Ephesus, chamber opera (Stroud, Oct. 23, 1971); The Aspern Papers, opera (1993). ORCH.: Concerto to an Unwritten Comedy (1970); Dance Diversions (1972); Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and String Orch. (1973); Concerto da Camera for Oboe and Small Orch. (1979); A Little Suite for Strings (1985); Overture to an Unwritten Comedy (1987). CHAMBER: Flute Sonatina (1964); Violin Sonata (1970; rev. 1986); Harlequin Suite for Brass (1971; rev. 1982). VOCAL: 12 “pop” cantatas: Jonah-man Jazz (1966; rev. 1967), Swingin’ Samson (1972), Hip-Hip Horatio (1974), Rooster Rag (1975), Pilgrim (1978), Adam-in-Eden (1981), Mrs. Beeton’s Book (1982), A New Nowell (1986), Captain Coram’s Kids (1988), Prodigal (1989), The Liberty Tree (1989), and King and Conscience (1990); also Shepherd’s Calender, sym. for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1975); choral works; songs.


Immortal Hour: The Life and Period of Rutland Boughton (1962; rev. and enl. ed, 1993, as Rutland Boughton and the Glastonbury Festivals); The Composer (1968); An Outline of European Music (1968; 2nd ed., rev., 1988); Elgar (1969); Vaughan Williams (1970); Mendelssohn (1970); The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney (1978); The Oxford Junior Companion to Music (1979); Vincent Novello and Company (1981); The Orchestra (1981).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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