Remembering Christopher Hogwood, An Evangelist For Early Music : Deceptive Cadence The English conductor, keyboard player and musicologist died Wednesday at age 73. He used modern scholarship and keen musicianship to bring new life to works by Handel and Bach, Mozart and Haydn.

Remembering Christopher Hogwood, An Evangelist For Early Music

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Now let's take a moment to remember Christopher Hogwood. He was an English conductor and musician who specialized in classical music.


Actually he called it early music. That's because he focused on famous classical compositions as they were heard in their earliest form.

INSKEEP: He's historically accurate instruments and shaped the way we understood composers like Bach, Handel and Mozart. He died yesterday at age 73. And NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas has an appreciation.

ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, BYLINE: Christopher Hogwood was a leader of what's called historically informed performance. He used modern scholarship and his own vivid musicianship to try to make performances of music from Purcellto Beethoven and beyond sound as close as possible to the way they would have sounded when they were first written.


TSIOULCAS: Hogwood was part musician, part scholar and part detective as he told NPR in 1992.


CHRISTOPHER HOGWOOD: I think that's the secret behind a lot of the world's Classics, that this apparent spontaneity, as soon as you investigate it you discover a very, very cleverly layered and premeditated plan.


TSIOULCAS: Hogwood led influential groups in both the U.S. and his native U.K. He founded England's Academy of Ancient Music in 1973 with which he made more than 200 recordings. In 1986 he became conductor of Boston's Handel and Haydn Society and transformed it into a historically informed performance ensemble. Christopher Kreuger, the group's principal flutist, says it's hard to call Hogwood a conventional conductor.

CHRISTOPHER KREUGER: In those early days, at least in the United States, of working in historical performance we were all researching and all finding out how these instruments should be played and he was very much willing to work with all of us. So he was very much more egalitarian and much more of a colleague than often happens with traditional conductors.

TSIOULCAS: Christopher Hogwood's approach gave birth to dozens of ensembles across Europe and North America. It also transformed how many mainstream musicians approached scores, turning them into performance scholars in the model of Christopher Hogwood and his colleagues. Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR News, New York.

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