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Red Contributor


Hugh Dixon

Composer

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Born: 1927

Biography

Hugh Dixon was born in Sydney in 1927. Since the age of 12 he has lived in New Zealand, with the exception of a stay of almost two years in Sydney between 1977-79. Educated at Hutt Valley High School, Hugh received his first musical experience in the school brass band, beginning on tenor horn, then on cornet and later, trumpet.

Hugh obtained an MMus (Hons) degree from the University of Auckland in 1968. Previously he had studied science and music at Victoria University of Wellington and music at Canterbury University of Christchurch. His other qualifications include: Diploma of Teaching from the Wellington Teachers’ College; L.R.S.M; F.T.C.L. – both on trumpet performance. 

A primary school teacher for a year; Hugh also worked for a builder in Leamington, Cambridge where he built his house; he was a secondary teacher of music and general science nine years; a teacher of brass instruments for the Auckland Education Board twenty years; a part-time private teacher of brass instruments and music theory eighteen years. He was also a part-time professional trumpet player for seven years in the Symphonia of Auckland (now Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra).

In 1967 Hugh founded the Auckland Youth Symphonic Band (AYSB) and conducted it for 10 years. This was the first band of its kind in New Zealand – the only other wind band at that time being the NZ Navy Band. The group expanded in numbers (over 80) and in 1973 it was found necessary to form two divisions – a junior and senior. They still flourish, but the senior division is now called the Auckland Wind Orchestra (AWO).

Hugh Dixon was a tutor and conductor at the annual National Secondary Schools Orchestral Holiday Courses under the auspices of the Education Board for twenty years. He was the founder/conductor of the Phoenix Wind Ensemble (later re-named Auckland Concert Band)5. Hugh organised numerous chamber music concerts and also conducted during this period. He was the conductor of the wind ensembles at the Cambridge Music Schools 1982–84 and South Auckland Choral Society and orchestra in Handel’s Messiah 1982. Conducted a season of 31 performances of The Mikado at the Mercury Theatre, Auckland 1987, and the St. Matthew Chamber Orchestra’s three Summer Concerts 1987–89. It was in the 1987 summer concert that Hugh's work Song Celestial (in 3 movements for soprano and chamber orchestra) was performed with the composer’s daughter, Wendy, in the singing role. 

Hugh Dixon became member of the Composer’s Federation of New Zealand and of the Fellowship of Australian Composers, but has not kept up their subs. Still a Member of APRA (since 1983), he was listed in New Zealand Who’s Who Aotearoa 1994 Edition. 

Up until retirement from teaching, composing was spread thinly over the years – “busy with other things!” From 1988 Hugh held positions in The Theosophical Society (TS) of New Zealand, namely, National Lecturer, National Vice-President, National President. For many years a student of Eastern and Western philosophies, Hugh also lectured at the various branches throughout NZ up until about 2004. As well, Hugh lectured in T.S. Branches in five Australian cities (several times in Brisbane and Sydney), and once in a TS Convention in India (Chennai, previously called Madras), and at a TS convention in Brasilia. He was also the Editor of the Society’s quarterly magazine Theosophy in New Zealand for six years until 2006.


Composed (49)

A Cantilena for Two

for soprano, horn and piano, 4m


A Little Lovely Dream

for mezzo-soprano and piano, 2m


Australiana - Folksong Frolic

for wind octet, 3m


Canto Fermo

for brass quintet, 6m


Concertino

for trombone and concert band, 13m


Dream Odyssey

for concert band, 8m


Dream Odyssey

for horn quartet, 8m


Duo

for clarinet and bassoon, 2m


Fanfare

for brass (11 players), timpani and snare drum, 2m


Five Shakespeare Songs

for mezzo-soprano and piano, 13m


Homage to Sibelius

for orchestra, 7m


Horses on the Camargue

for soprano, horn and piano, 9m


Horses on the Camargue

for concert band, 9m


Into the Silent Valley

for flute, violin, horn and cello, 6m


It Takes Three to Tango

for string trio, 2m 25s


Lyric Sketches

for flute, violin, horn and cello, 21m


Mosaic

for wind octet, 11m


My Cathedral

for SSA choir and orchestra, 7m


My True Love Hath My Heart

for soprano and piano, 2m


Mystic Vision

for soprano, tenor, flute and piano, 11m


Nocturnes

for soprano and horn, 12m


Quintet

for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, 15m


Raga Rewa

for flute, violin, cello (or horn) and tabla, 20m


Romance

for clarinet and piano, 5m


Sacred Space

for flute, violin, horn and cello


Scenes from Nature

for flute, violin, viola and cello


Song Celestial

for soprano, dancers and chamber ensemble, 20m


Song of Sea-Gull

for flute and string orchestra


Songs of Mystic Jade

for soprano and piano


String Quartet No. 3 - Such is Life

for string quartet, 22m


String Quartet No. 4 - A Lute of Jade

for string quartet, 17m


Such is Life

for flute, violin, horn and cello, 22m


Symphony for Concert Band

for concert band, 20m


The Blue Wrens and the Butcher-bird

for soprano and piano, 5m


The Enchanted Garden

for string orchestra, 8m


The Enchanted Garden

for flute, violin, viola (or horn) and cello, 9m


The Fire Raga

for flute, violin, horn and cello, 20m


The Mysterious Call of the Sea

for soprano and piano, 14m


The Poet's Song

for SATB choir and piano, 5m 15s


Tiger! Tiger!

for soprano and two horns, 3m 20s


To the Moon and Tears

for soprano, tenor and horn, 3m


Trio

for violin, horn and piano, 21m 30s


Two Fanfares for Beginner Trumpeters

for three trumpets, 1m


Undertow at Oakura

for orchestra, 30m


Wandering Companionless

for soprano, horn and cello



Recordings (1)