Michael Hurd (1928 - 2006)
14th August 2006
His was a distinguished career, precluded by studies at Pembroke College, Oxford, as a pupil of Thomas Armstrong and Bernard Rose. He also studied composition, privately with Lennox Berkeley.
Alongside his career as freelance composer and author, Hurd was Professor of Theory at the Royal Marines School of Music. He was in demand as conductor and lecturer, travelling widely on behalf of the British Council. In 1990 he was closely involved in the founding of the prestigious Port Fairy Music Festival, Australia.
Hurd is principally known for his choral music, including large scale works for chorus and orchestra such as the choral symphony Shepherd's Calendar (1975) and the choral suites Music’s Praise (1968) and This Day to Man (1974). He wrote three operas and a multitude of instrumental works. On the lighter side, his series of 'pop' cantatas began in 1966 with Jonah-man Jazz, and goes on to include such favourites as Swingin' Samson (1973), Hip Hip Horatio (1974), Rooster Rag (1975), and Adam-in-Eden (1981), all receiving regular performances throughout the English-speaking world.