About Malcolm Hawkins

Born in Oporto, Portugal, Malcolm studied piano and string bass at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and soon found himself heaving the bass fiddle to gigs in the city and its environs.

A scholarship to study with the composer Cesar Bresgen at the Mozarteum took him to Salzburg, where his compositions were performed and broadcast on Austrian Radio as a result of winning the competition Das Neue Lied.The idyllic life in Salzburg was interrupted by a hot headed encounter with a uniformed official, and on returning to England he worked for a light music publisher and taught at Cranleigh School in Surrey, and at the RAM. His works began to make appearances in the Radio Times for programmes such as Matinee Musicale, and at festivals such as Langollen and Lichfield.

Nothing can be achieved in life without the help of others. This is especially true of the composer, who needs the skills of the musicians around him to bring the notes on the page to life.

Hawkins has received commissions from entrepreneurial musicians such as James Dick, who founded the Round Top Festival in Texas, Hilary Davan Wetton the Milton Keynes Chamber Orchestra, and Alberto Santana the Hungarian Chamber Symphony. Commissions in New Hampshire, where he lives, have come from the New Hampshire String Teachers Association and the Nashua Symphony and Chorus.

He has worked with Barry Wordsworth and Lionel Friend (BBC Concert Orchestra), James Morgan (BBC Singers and St Paul's Knightsbridge), Pascal Verrot and the Texas Festival Orchestra, Jonathan Rees-Williams at Lichfield Cathedral and St George's Chapel, Windsor, Rosemary Heffley in Dallas, Diane Cushing and Ben Greene in New Hampshire.

Oboist Simon Dent (Munich) premiered Malcolm's Diversions with the Heutling String Quartet in Berlin 1978. [Recording Amati (ami 9801/1)], and the Oboe Concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra in 19991. Pianist Alan Gravill broadcast Ghost Games on Radio 3. Imre Magyari performed the horn concerto Three Maidens in Budapest in 2005. Many performances on the South Bank include On Stage piano duet by Allan Schiller and John Humphreys and La Cicada for clarinet, cello and piano by Andrew Marriner, Martin Lovett, and James Dick.

Hawkins lyrics have been sometimes inspired by paintings - the 15th century painting of the Angel Gabriel by Jan and Hubert van Eyck was the starting point for the first of the Four Carols -

Was this an invitation, mysterious wraith,
to grasp the branch of olive in childlike faith?
to touch the long dalmatic, to kneel and pray,
that from the vanished vision, the gift may stay.

The carol Messenger returns to the annunciation theme, this time suggested by paintings of Barthel Bruyn (C16th) and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1850). Here the poem is more urgent, closing:

For all who long to see your legend live
Will you appear, Archangel Gabriel?

Rosamundi is laced with ancient Christian symbolism of the virgin birth-

A dreamy image of a garden
behind a gate
conceals a mystery no mortal
can penetrate

Malcolm graduated with a M Mus from the University of London where he studied with Eric Thiman, as well as an LRAM diploma for the double bass with John Walton. From study in Salzburg he gained a Diplomprufung in composition.

During a spell of teaching and orchestral playing, he visited Hungary on a British Council fellowship and spent four months at the Kodaly Institute which confirmed him as a devoted advocate of the philosophies and method of the great Hungarian composer and musician.