Alistair Hinton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Alistair Hinton (born 6 October 1950) is a Scottish composer.

Career and works[edit]

Hinton began studying music at the age of 12; with the advice of Benjamin Britten, he studied at the Royal College of Music, where Humphrey Searle was among his teachers. Although he began composing at an early age, he later destroyed most of his pre-1985 output.[1]

Hinton's Op. 1 was a piano sonata (1962), now partly lost. His other compositions include sonatas, variations and other works for piano, a violin concerto (dedicated to Jane Manning), songs (amongst them settings of Rabindranath Tagore, Hinton's Opp. 9 and 12), works for the organ, a string quintet (for two violins, viola, cello, double-bass and soprano, and lasting for 2 hrs 45 mins in performance), and a Sinfonietta. They include homages to Karol Szymanowski (Szymanowski-Etiud, Op. 32, for 18 wind instruments), Richard Strauss (Passeggiata Straussiana, for euphonium and piano, Op. 39), and Charles-Valentin Alkan in the Piano Sonata no. 5, which has a substantial passage marked "Alkanique".[2] The latter influenced Marc-André Hamelin in composing his own Étude no. 4.[3]

Amongst those who have performed and recorded Hinton's works are Donna Amato, Jonathan Powell, Yonty Solomon and Kevin Bowyer.[1] Information on his works, together with a listing and discography, may be found at .


In 1969 Hinton came across a copy of the four-hour Opus clavicembalisticum[4] of the reclusive composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (1892–1988), which greatly impressed him. In 1976 he persuaded the composer to relax the ban he had placed on unauthorised performance of his music in the 1930s.[5] Hinton subsequently founded the Sorabji Archive, which publishes Sorabji's writings and compositions and maintains a collection of his manuscripts and archival materials; he remains its curator.[5] Hinton contributed two chapters to the 1992 book, Sorabji: A Critical Celebration.[6] He was the dedicatee of eight works by Sorabji, and was the sole heir of his oeuvre.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Alistair Hinton", McGill University Schulich School of Music, accessed 9 July 2013
  2. ^ "Alistair Hinton: Compositions", The Sorabji Archive, accessed 9 July 2013; Rob Barnett, "Alistair Hinton String Quintet", MusicWeb, accessed 10 July 2013.
  3. ^ Hamelin (2005), iii.
  4. ^ "Performed Works and Timings", Sorabji Resource Site, accessed 16 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b "About the Sorabji Archive", The Sorabji Archive, accessed 9 July 2013.
  6. ^ Rapoport (1992).
  7. ^ "Biographical Notes", Sorabji Resource Site, accessed 10 July 2013.


  • Hamelin, Marc-André (2005). Étude No. IV: Étude à mouvement perpétuellement semblable (d'après Alkan). Portland, Oregon: Pelisorius Editions.
  • Rapoport, Paul (ed.) (1992). Sorabji: A Critical Celebration, Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-85967-923-7.