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Hugh Wood studied History at New College, Oxford, where he dedicated much of his time to music and writing compositions for the theatre. In 1954, he moved to London to study composition privately with William Lloyd Webber, Anthony Milner, Iain Hamilton, and Mátyás Seiber. He also started a parallel career as a music teacher by finding work in schools, including Morley College, and as a lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music.
In 1958 Wood composed his first published work: a set of variations for viola and piano showing the influence of Schoenberg and thematic references to Beethoven, which was premiered by Cecil Aronowitz. His first orchestral work, Scenes from Comus (with soloists and chorus), was commissioned by the BBC and composed between 1962 and 1965. Its premiere at the 1965 BBC Proms provided Wood with a public success. Wood likes to compose slowly and he typically prefers chamber music genres, though several of his large-scale works, such as his Symphony and Violin Concerto, are amongst his best known.
In recent years he has contributed several articles on music to 'The Times Literary Supplement.' In 2007 his collected writings on music, Staking Out the Territory was published by Plumbago Books and the following year Ashgate Books published 'The Music of Hugh Wood' by Edward Venn.
Source: Wikipedia. Image credit: Kate Everall