John Frederick Hudson has received many accolades for his diverse, passionate, and expressive style as a conductor, composer, and répétiteur. As a regular guest conductor of the Aberdeen Sinfonietta Orchestra, he premiered his newly commissioned percussion concerto to accompany Prokofiev’s Divertimento, Op.43 and Beethoven’s Symphony No.7. Also, Dr Hudson conducted the Con Anima Chamber Choir in the premiere of his “Epitaphs of War” — a meditation for Remembrance marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice of World War I. In a review by Alan Cooper, he remarked “Hudson had given it so much care, attention and often startling imagination.” As a pianist, he has performed for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle in a celebration marking her as the longest reigning monarch and recently performed for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace for a private event celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dumfries House. He has both performed in the BBC Proms as well as assisted Simon Halsey in the preparation for Verdi’s Requiem with Marin Alsop, conductor, and for Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with Donald Runnicles, conductor.
Most recently, Dr Hudson was the Musician in Residence at King’s College Chapel, Aberdeen, as organist to the University of Aberdeen and also the conductor of the Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen. Dr Hudson completed his PhD studies in music composition with ‘royal composer’ Prof Paul Mealor at the University of Aberdeen. His focus was on researching the current context, trends, and styles of opera within contemporary music, and from that research composing a full-scale opera. In collaboration with librettist James Kenon Mitchell, Dr Hudson conducted the world premiere of his new opera, Demimondaine, on 28 October 2016 in Scotland.
His further musical involvement includes his Scottish debut with the Con Anima Choir and Orchestra in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with soprano Judith Howarth; he conducted the University of Aberdeen Symphony Orchestra in an iconic 20th century programme of Ravel’s Bolero, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (conducted from the piano), and Stravinsky’s Firebird (1919); he also conducted the Marischal Chamber Orchestra giving two concerts, the first being Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and Mozart’s Mass in C minor in correlation with the University of Aberdeen Choral Society; associate conductor of the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir with Prof Paul Mealor; musical director and conductor for the University of Aberdeen Opera Society in the recent production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro; and founder and conductor of Spectrum: Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Dr Hudson earned a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance before turning to composition for his Master’s degree. He completed a second Master’s degree in choral conducting, graduating with distinction from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. As a répétiteur, he regularly coaches singers, accompanies for symphonic and opera choruses, collaborates in chamber music, and also specializes in early music ensembles. He has studied conducting with nationally acclaimed conductors such as Helmuth Rilling (Oregon Bach Festival), Gary Graden (S:t Jacobs Kammerkör), James Jordan (Westminster Choir College), Joe Miller (Westminster Choir College), Charles Bruffy (Westminster Choir College), and Edward Higginbottom (Choral Music Institute at Oxford). He has also performed under major conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andris Nelsons, Daniel Barenboim, and Alan Gilbert.
The music of Dr Hudson has been performed by various choirs throughout the world including those in New York, the UK, and other countries in Europe; recently his new composition, Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen, was premiered at the University of Aberdeen Carol Service at St Marylebone Church, London; in addition, his music has been presented at both the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the British Choral Directors Association (BCDA). Dr Hudson has many publications that can be found with John Frederick Hudson Music, GIA Publications and Beckenhorst Press.