2024 – Bill Hopkins Prize (€ 2000)

Special Prize

20th century composers

Offered by the Bill Hopkins Society, awarded to the best performance of a selection of Études en série (Schott London) of at least 8 minutes.


Bill Hopkins was born in 1943 in Prestbury, Cheshire (England). He studied with Luigi Nono at Dartington Summer School, then at Oxford University with Egon Wellesz and Edmund Rubbra (1961–1964). After graduation he started composing Sous-structures, his earliest acknowledged work, which was completed shortly after his arrival in Paris on a French Government scholarship in October 1964. During the subsequent academic year he was initially a member of Olivier Messiaen’s class, subsequently taking private lessons with Jean Barraqué (January–May 1965). While in Paris he composed Musique de l’indifférence (for orchestra), as well as Two Pomes and Sensation (both for soprano and mixed quartet). On returning to England he worked in London as a music critic before moving to Tintagel (Cornwall), then the Isle of Man, where he concentrated on composing, primarily the Etudes en série, while earning his living writing articles and translating from French and German. After completing the Etudes (and the solo violin piece Pendant) in the early 1970s he completed only two further original works: Nouvelle étude hors série (1974) for organ and En attendant (1976–1977) for harpsichord, flute, oboe and cello. From 1977–1979 he was a lecturer at Birmingham University, moving to Newcastle University in 1979. He died in 1981 of a heart attack, at the age of 37.

(c) DR


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