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Alan Hacker

lan Hacker O.B.E. was invited to join the Music Department of the University of York in the mid-70s and he has lived here ever since.

Originally from South London, at 19 he joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra and was made a professor at the Royal Academy of Music. In his late 20s he became paralysed from below the neck, and had to resign from the L.P.O. He then developed his solo career and became known world-wide as a champion of new music, and also as a pioneer of the now so-called “authentic” approach to earlier music.

Having taught at the University for many years (where he developed “Music in the Community” as an essential study area), a wish to return to his own music making was granted when, after conducting the Drottningholm old instrument orchestra of Stockholm, he was invited to revive a 19th-century Swedish opera in the North of Sweden. He brought this opera to the York Festival in 1989. In Britain he conducted the first full Italian version of Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera (Opera North) and Judith Weir’s Vanishing Bridegroom (Scottish Opera). Since then he has mainly worked abroad, where he has been able to bring his earlier “authentic” work into the operatic and orchestral mainstream. His celebrated performances of Così Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni and Ulisse are examples.

Alan Hacker now aims to take more British orchestral music abroad. Up to now he’s managed Delius, Holst, Vaughan Williams and Tippett; he’s taken Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro to Baden-Baden, and his Enigma was encored in the Beethoven-Halle, Bonn. With the theatre director Kusej, he has already started working on Purcell’s King Arthur.

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