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Hopkins, John

ORCHESTRA

Night Cycle (1975) 26'
3(picc:afl).3(ca).3(bcl).3(3=cbsn). / 4.3.3.1. / timp.3perc(cel).hp. / str.
Premiere: Hatfield, 3 May 1980

Solstice (1978) 17'
3(picc).3(ca).3(bcl).2. / 4.3.3.0. / timp.3perc.hp. / str.
Premiere: Bath, 17 June 1978

The Magic Mountain (1979) 30'
for piano and orchestra
solo piano - 3(picc;afl).3(ca).3(bcl).3(cbsn). / 4.3.3.0. / timp.2perc.hp. / str.
Premiere: London, 16 March 1981

Faustus (1986) 40'
3(alf:2picc).3(ca).3(2bcl).ssax.asax.tsax.3(2cbsn). / 4.3.3.1. / timp.2perc.pf(cel).harp. / str.
Premiere: BBC Radio 3, 2 April 1987

Sinfonia (1988) 18'
1.1.1.asax.1. / 2.1.0.0. / str.
Premiere: Cambridge, 2 May 1988

Concerto da Camera
(1989) 18'
1(picc).1(ca).1.1. / 2.1.0.0. / str. (minimum 6.4.4.3.1.)
Premiere: Cambridge, 1 November 1990

The Floating World (1999) 26'
mezzo-sop-2fl.2ob.2cl.sop sax.alto sax.2bsn-2hn.2tpt.timps.3 perc.hrp.gtr.mand-strings (8.6.4.4.2 minimum)
Premiere: Cambridge, 18.11.2008

Viola Concerto (2002) 18’
Solo viola: flute, oboe, clarinet in Bb, soprano saxophone in Bb, alto saxophone in Eb, bassoon; 2 horns in F; harp, percussion (2 players); strings
Premiere: Cambridge, 12 March 2003 

Broken forms
(2012) 25'
3perc-string orchestra
Premiere: Cambridge, 23 February 2013



CHAMBER/INSTRUMENTAL

Round (1974) 9'
fl.cl. / pf. / vla.vc.
Premiere: Cardiff, 15 March 1975

Se la face ay pale (1977) 8'
fl(picc,afl).cl(bcl). / perc. / vln.vc.
Premiere: Durham, 4 May 1977

13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1978) 24'
ob. / hp.hpscd. / vln.vla.vc
Premiere: London, 27 May 1979

The Cloud of Unknowing (1978) 23'
fl(picc,afl).cl(bcl). / perc.pf(cel) / vln.vc.
Premiere: London, 31 January 1979 

The Golden Flower
(1979) 10'
alto fl
Premiere: Norwich, 4 March 1981

Fuga Canonica
(1981) 4'
fl.cl. / hpscd . / vln.vc.
Norwich, 4 March 1981

Liernes (1981) 18'
fl.pf
Premiere: London, 13 October 1981

Cantilever
(1982) 20'
1(picc).1(ca).1(bcl).1. / pf. / str. (1.0.1.1.0.)
Premiere: Kings Lynn, 29 July 1982

Elective Affinities (1983) 25'
ob.bsn. / pf. / vln.vc.
Premiere: 22 March 1984

8 Pieces for Alto Saxophone and Piano
(1987)

Piano Trio (2008) 19’
Violin, cello and piano
Premiere: Cambridge, 13 November 2008

Trio for Oboe, flute, piano
(2011) 16’
Premiere: London, 8 October 2012

Sonata for Cello and Piano
(2013) 16’

Duo for flute and piano (2013) 10’



SOLO

4 Pieces for Piano (1974) 9'
Premiere: Cardiff, 26 February 1976

Beyond
(1982) 5'
for piano
Premiere: Cambridge, 27 July 1983

Aquamarine
(1982) 26'
for piano
Premiere: Cambridge, 3 May 1984

Sonata for Piano (1991) 14'
Premiere: London, 23 October 1991

Disjunct variations (2012) 13'
for piano
Premiere: Montevallo, 12.11.2012

7 Bagatelles (2014) 10'
for cello



VOCAL (with ensemble)

Noche Oscura (1976) 15' soprano; fl(picc,afl).cl(bcl). / gtr. / vla.vc.
Premiere: London, 11 July 1978

For the Far Journey
(1981) 25'
soprano; fl(picc,afl).cl(bcl). / gtr. / vla.vc.
Premiere: Norwich, 4 March 1981

White Winter, Black Spring
(1985) 30'
tenor, baritone; 1(picc,afl).1(ca).1(bcl).asax.0. / 1.1.1.0. / perc. / str. (1.1.1.1.1.)
Premiere: Huddersfield, 22 November 1985

Sonnet
(1987) 17'
soprano, tenor, baritone; 1(afl).1(ca).1(bcl).1. / 1.0.0.0. / hp. / str. (1.0.1.1.0.)
Premiere: Aldeburgh, 22 June 1987

In the White Hours
(1990) 13'30"
soprano; cl(bcl).ssax.vla.vc
Premiere: London, 5 July 1991

3 Chinese Lyrics (1991)
sop; fl. / vla
Premiere: Cambridge, 28 October 1994

Cantata (1992) 25'
mezzo.baritone; 2ob.bsn. / hp. / 2vla.vc.
Premiere: BBC Radio 3, 25 April 1993

Akhmatova Songs (2005)
for mezzo-soprano with flute, clarinet, horn, harp, violin, viola and cello
Premiere: Hatfield, 7 May 2005

La vita nuova (2015) 38'
tenor-fl.ob.cl.bsn-hn.tpt.tbn-1perc-hrp.pno/celeste-1.1.1.1.1

The Book of Pictures (2016) 26'
Seven Rilke songs and an Intermezzo for Soprano and Ensemble
mezzo-sop; fl, ob, cl; hn, tpt; pno; strings 1.1.1.1.1
Premiere: Cambridge, 2 February 2017



VOCAL (with piano)

The Book of Pictures (1985) 26'
mezzo. pf
Premiere: Cambridge, 2 August 1986

Watching the perseids
(2006) 28'
for soprano and piano
Premiere: Hatfield, 14 May 2008

 

CHORAL

Introit, Kyrie and Graduale (1980) 8'
SATB double choir
Premiere: BBC Radio 3, 8 October 1991

4 Latin Motets
(2009) 13'30"

 

 

John Hopkins came to composition via an unusual route, involving a series of rock bands working the pub and club circuits of South-Eastern England in the late 1960s, and as a member of a parish choir, singing in turn treble, alto, tenor and finally bass parts. His musical education progressed through University College Cardiff, where his teachers included Alun Hoddinott, David Wynne and Arnold Whittall, and the Dartington Summer Schools, where he took part in the composition classes run by Peter Maxwell Davies. Early works such as Four Songs from Ariel and Round were commissioned and performed at the Cardiff Festival of 20th Century Music, while Angelus was written for the Cardiff Composers’ Ensemble, of which he was a founder member.

After leaving university, Hopkins worked for two years as Music Co-ordinator of the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, before becoming composer-in-residence for the Eastern Arts Association. During this time, a number of important works were written: The Cloud of Unknowing, commissioned by Peter Maxwell Davies for the Fires of London, and The Magic Mountain for the Swiss pianist, Charles Dobler. This large concertante piece for piano and orchestra brought international acclaim at the ISCM Festival in Aarhus, Denmark, as part of a concert curated by Hans Werner Henze. This work was taken up by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with Stephen Pruslin as soloist, and a number of BBC commissions followed: White Winter, Black Spring (first given at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival by Martyn Hill, Henry Herford and the Lontano Ensemble conducted by Odaline dela Martinez), Aquamarine for pianist Philip Mead, and Faustus, a 50-minute symphonic work written for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

His Double Concerto for trumpet, saxophone and orchestra was commissioned by John Wallace and first performed by him with John Harle and the City of London Sinfonia, conducted by the late Richard Hickox. This brought to a conclusion a triptych comprising Sinfonia (which had also been conducted by Hickox for a BBC recording), Concerto da Camera and Double Concerto. Hopkins then decided to work towards a DPhil with Martin Butler at Sussex University, which was awarded in 2000 for a portfolio of works that included The Floating World, an exploration of the microcosmic world of the haiku, for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, first performed by Olivia Ray and conducted by Peter Britton. Recent works include Akhmatova Songs, commissioned for the University of Hertfordshire’s Mayfest, and included on a CD of vocal works performed by Olivia Robinson, a vibrant soprano soloist with the BBC Singers, and released on the UHR label in 2009. Piano Trio and Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano explore new concepts of non-linear formal structures, while Disjunct Variations, for solo piano, was written for a BAMA concert at the University of Montevallo, Alabama, in September 2012, where it was given by the brilliant young American pianist, Adam Bowles. Since then, Hopkins has composed Broken Forms for string orchestra and 3 percussionists (in memory of his parents), a Cello Sonata, and is currently writing a Flute Sonata and a new work for solo tenor and 14 instruments based on Dante’s La Vita Nuova.

In 2009, John Hopkins joined the Faculty of Music at Cambridge University, where he is Director of Undergraduate Studies, and also runs a weekly Composers’ Workshop for the thriving composing scene at a department whose alumni include George Benjamin and Thomas Adès. After an early association with Schirmer, his music has been published by Ricordi London since 1986.

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