Nicolas Hodges

Nicolas Hodges

Piano

• Born 1970

Biography

Pianist Nicolas Hodges is an important specialist in contemporary music, having collaborated closely with composers, including Wolfgang Rihm and Harrison Birtwistle. He is also a noted educator.

Hodges was born in London in 1970. His mother was a member of the BBC Singers, his father a BBC studio manager and amateur musician. He attended Christ Church Cathedral School in Oxford, where he made his performing debut as a boy treble in the Christ Church Cathedral Choir. He went on to Winchester College and then to Cambridge and Bristol Universities. His teachers included Susan Bradshaw and Sulamita Aronovsky; he also studied song accompaniment with Roger Vignoles and Geoffrey Parsons and composition with Michael Finnissy, Robin Holloway, and Alexander Goehr. Hodges has performed with many major orchestras and has returned multiple times to several of them, including the BBC Symphony, the Boston Symphony, and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony. He is best known for his close relationships with major contemporary composers. Among these are Birtwistle, who called Hodges his Peter Pears (referring to the pianist/vocalist who championed Benjamin Britten's music), Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino, and Rebecca Saunders. Hodges also premiered the 2003 piano concerto Dialogues by Elliott Carter, and he has performed music by many other contemporary composers, including Brian Ferneyhough, John Adams, Beat Furrer, and Pascal Dusapin, as well as works of Beethoven and other compositions from the traditional classical repertory.

Hodges has made more than 25 recordings, beginning with Bill Hopkins: Complete Piano Music on Col Legno in 2000. He has recorded for Kairos, Wergo, Nonesuch, and many other labels. On Bridge, he was heard performing Dialogues in a 2005 recording of concertos by Carter. Hodges' recorded output was exclusively concentrated on contemporary music until 2020 when he released A Bag of Bagatelles, which included bagatelles by Beethoven as well as Birtwistle.

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