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William Hedley was born in Wigan in 1952. He studied composition with Stephen Dodgson at the Royal College of Music, but his career took a different turn when he took a part-time post teaching music in a comprehensive school in Hackney. The next fifteen years were spent working in different schools in and around London, before he began to realise that music in secondary schools was moving in a direction whose aims he no longer shared. He moved to Southwest France in 1989, where he now earns his living teaching music and conducting choirs.

William is an active ambassador for British music, programming British composers with the choirs he conducts whenever possible. He was introduced to the music of Benjamin Britten by his grammar school music teacher and his passion for that composer's music has never waned. In recent years a profound admiration for and love of the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams has been added to this. He is also particularly keen on French music as well as music from the Nordic and Baltic countries. Choral music is, of course, important to him, as is opera. In general, music written after 1900 is more likely to fire his enthusiasm than music written before, but pressed to name the pinnacle of the repertoire it would probably be Mozart's Figaro, and he believes Siegfried's Funeral March from Götterdämmerung to be the finest single passage of music ever composed.

William is a trustee of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society. Since 2005, he is the editor of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society Journal.

 

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