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Richard Hill

CountryUnited Kingdom
OccupationComposer, Conductor
CategoriesContemporary, Jazz, Neoclassical, Soundtrack/Film Music

Richard Hill is a British composer, born in Renfrewshire, Scotland in 1942. He won a Foundation Open Scholarsip to the Royal College of Music, London in 1960, where he studied under the eminent conductor Sir Adrian Boult, composer Philip Cannon, harpsichordist Millicent Silver and trombonist Morris Smith. At the RCM he became a co-founder of the iconic London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble and went on to play with some top British orchestras, including that of the Royal Opera House and the Philharmonia. Experience gained playing under Boult, Solti, Bernstein and others was balanced by that under Duke Ellington’s co-composer and arranger, Billy Strayhorn – and Hill’s love of jazz has been an important strand in his career development.

Hill joined Polydor Records in 1967 as a producer, media composer and studio arranger/conductor. He worked with many top recording stars in the fields of rock and jazz, whilst retaining his classical roots with productions such as the legendary The Great Learning by the avant-garde composer Cornelius Cardew, which Hill produced for Deutsche Gramophon. There followed a long and successful career in recording, TV and film, whilst also developing serious concert repertoire and also, music theatre. Hill’s co-creation of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales ran for five and half years in the West End, had a Broadway season and two tours of the USA – and his Symphony of Jazz concert repertoire has been performed many times with numerous orchestras in Europe and is now reaching into the USA.

Richard Hill is currently working on a new project, setting his own poetry to his own musical soundscapes, whilst also developing a new production of his ‘space time’ music drama setting of Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which gained superb reviews at the Edinburgh Festival. This Coleridge theme follows from his magical orchestral tone poem and ballet, Images from Kubla Khan, whose recording, with Hill conducting the Grosse Rundfunk Orchester Berlin and Ben Kingsley narrating, received such wonderful critical acclaim when released in the USA.

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