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Michael John Hurd (19 December 1928 – 8 August 2006) was a composer and musicologist principally known for his choral music.[1]

Michael John Hurd
Born(1928-12-19)19 December 1928
Died8 August 2006(2006-08-08) (aged 77)
Alma materPembroke College, Oxford
OccupationComposer, conductor, musicologist

He was born in Gloucester on 19 December 1928 and educated at The Crypt School, Gloucester,[2] and Pembroke College, Oxford. He was also a composition pupil of Lennox Berkeley. After National Service he taught at the Royal Marines Band School at Deal,[3] before settling in East Hampshire where he took a leading role in the area's music-making.[4]

Like his fellow Petersfield resident, Wilfred Brown, Hurd championed the memory of Gerald Finzi, co-editing the composer's correspondence with Howard Ferguson.[5] He also championed the music of Rutland Boughton (he was Music Advisor to The Rutland Boughton Music Trust from 1978 to 2006) and Ivor Gurney. His lifelong friends include the writer David Hughes and his actress wife Mai Zetterling. While his was first and foremost an academic career, his work also reached a wider audience through film scores[6] and his materials for schoolchildren. He is most noted for his "pop" cantatas such as Jonah-Man Jazz (1966). He died on 8 August 2006.

Selected compositionsEdit

  • Pop cantatas:
    • Jonah-Man Jazz (1966)
    • Swingin' Samson (1973)
    • Rooster Rag (1975)
  • Music's Praise (1968)
  • Dance Diversions (1972)
  • Shepherd's Calendar (1975)
  • Night Songs of Edward Thomas (1994)
  • Five Spiritual Songs (1996)

Selected publicationsEdit

  • An Outline History of European Music (Novello, 1968, revised 1988) ISBN 0853600767
  • The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney (OUP, 1978) ISBN 0192117521
  • New Oxford Junior Companion to Music (1979) ISBN 1851521097
  • Vincent Novello and Company (Granada, 1981) ISBN 0246117338
  • The Orchestra (Phaidon, 1981) ISBN 0871964694
  • Rutland Boughton and the Glastonbury Festivals (OUP, 1993) ISBN 0091897637


  1. ^ Obituary, Independent Newspaper 16 August 2006 Lewis Foreman
  2. ^ See obituary by contemporary at The Crypt School
  3. ^ Memories of ex bandsmen who knew Hurd Archived 2007-06-08 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Tribute evening at Petersfield Music Festival,
  5. ^ Letters of Gerald Finzi and Howard Ferguson. Ferguson, H., Hurd, M. 2001. Solihull: Helion & Company, Ltd. ISBN 0851158234
  6. ^ Michael Hurd on IMDb

External linksEdit