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Nicholas Hare Biography

Nicholas Hare

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Born: 1940. Living in: England

Nicholas Hare was born in 1940 to keen amateur musicians, and his first musical experiences were probably in the womb! He was a chorister (head chorister in 1954) at St George's Chapel, Windsor, under Dr William Harris; he was fortunate to be in the choir for three major Royal services: the funerals of Queen Mary and George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953. In 1954 he won a music scholarship to Marlborough College, Wiltshire, where he studied piano, organ and violin, and in 1959 was awarded a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

For a short period at the Royal College of Music in London, he studied harmony and counterpoint with Dr Sydney Watson and organ with George Thalben-Ball, obtaining the Associateship of the Royal College of Organists in 1960. In October of that year he finally took up his place at Oxford, continuing his studies with Dr Watson, and obtained 1st Class Honours in 1963. Alongside his academic work he sang with numerous student groups, particularly the Schola Cantorum, and deputised in New College Choir and the Clerkes of Oxenford. The next few years were spent working for a B Mus, which sadly did not come to fruition, followed by research on the compositional technique of the early 16th century composer John Taverner and his contemporaries, supervised by Frank Ll. Harrison.

From 1968-1978 he served as Assistant Director and then Director of Music at Cheltenham College Junior, the prep school to Cheltenham College, where he gained experience working with choirs and orchestras, making numerous arrangements for the motley instrumental groups. From 1971-1979 he directed Music Vera chamber choir in Cheltenham, covering a wide range of repertoire from the 16th to 20th centuries, culminating in a performance of Bach's St John Passion in 1979.

At Chester's he worked on numerous projects ranging from the Chester Books of Motets and Madrigals to editing new works by living composers such as Lennox Berkeley, Geoffrey Burgon, Magnus Lindberg, Witold Lutoslawski, Peter Maxwell Davies, Michael Nyman and Kevin Volans, overseeing the production of new scores and orchestral material for many first performances. He oversaw the production of new editions of established works by Manuel de Falla, Igor Stravinsky, Lennox Berkeley and others.

Work on Chester projects continued apace, and was expanded by similar editorial and arranging work for Faber Music, Boosey & Hawkes, Trinity College London the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and others.

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