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Alfreda Hodgson (Contralto)

Born: June 7, 1940 - Morecambe, Lancashire, England
Died: April 16, 1992 - Morecambe, Lancashire, England

The English contralto, Alfreda (Rose) Hodgson, received her musical training at the Northern School of Music in Manchester, GNSM; Honorary Fellow 1972; LRAM.

Alfreda Hodgson made her concert debut with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 1964 (according to Baker's) or 1961 (according to Who's Who), and her first appearance in London in 1963. In subsequent years, she appeared as a soloist with all the principal British orchestras. She appeared with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Otto Klemperer, Carlo Maria Giulini, Lorin Maazel, Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, Andrew Davis, Fruhbeck de Burgos, Eduardo Mata and Simon Rattle; London Symphony Orchestra under Claudio Abbado, Svetlanov, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Colin Davis. She had frequent overseas engagements, including the first Messiah in Israel, conducted by Zubin Mehta; USA appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra with Lorin Maazel, Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Andrew Davis and at Meadowbrook with Gunther Herbig and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Alfreda Hodgson's concert repertoire ranged from J.S. Bach to Benjamin Britten. Her Gustav Mahler repertoire included the 2nd Symphony (Resurrection) on London debut, with Otto Klemperer and the Philharmonia Orchestra; 8th Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra under Colin Davis at the Albert Hall, at the Edinburgh Festival and at the opening of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 1990; Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Simon Rattle; Das Lied von der Erde with James Conlon and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra under Stanislaw Skrowaczewski; 3rd Symphony with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. 1990. Other concert repertoire included L.v. Beethoven's Ninth in Dresden and at the Festival Hall; Edward Elgar's Dream of Gerontius in Toronto and The Kingdom with the London Philharmonic Orchestra; L'enfance du Christ in Lisbon; Arnold Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, Felix Mendelssohnís Elijah with the Scottish National Orchestra and the Missa Solemnis with the Hallé Orchestra.

Alfreda Hodgson made her operatic debut as Ulrica with the English National Opera in 1974, and appreaed at Covent Garden in 1983 and 1987 in Peter Grimes and the Ravel/Igor Stravinsky double bill. She sang Sosostris with Eenglish National Opera in 1985 (Midsummer Marriage) and appeared in concert performances of Gluck' s Orfeo with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and in Beatrice et Benedict at the Festival Hall.

Recordings include: St John Passion (BWV 245) conducted by Benjamin Britten (Decca); The Dream of Gerontius and Das Lied von der Erde conducted by Alexander Gibson; Georg Frideric Handel's Jephtha and Messiah; Johannes Brahms's Alto Rhapsody under Bernard Haitink (Orfeo); Das Klagende Lied under Simon Rattle (EMI); W.A. Mozart's Requiem (Virgin Classics); B. Britten's Spring Symphony and The Apostles by E. Elgar with the London Symphony Orchestra (Chandos). One of her greatest recordings was G. Mahlerís Das Lied von der Erde with BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jascha Horenstein (BBC Music/Music & Arts, 1972).

Alfreda Hodgson was married with Paul Blissett and had 2 daughters.

Source: Bakerís Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); International Who's Who in Music & Musicians' Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2001, November 2005); Misha (March 2011)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Benjamin Britten


BWV 245

Philip Ledger


BWV 11, BWV 34

David Willcocks


BWV 244

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