Vic Hoyland


Vic on his Sunday constitutional. This little stream runs off the moors, by little Anglo-Saxon/Viking St Gregory’s Minster, 1 mile from my English home. This Easter - when the daffodils appear (the bulbs were planted by monks - across Farndale - from Rievaulx, 1100s)

The younger Vic at La Jolla, San Diego, California

Born in Yorkshire in 1945, Vic Hoyland’s earliest interests were in painting, calligraphy and architecture, but after completing an Arts degree at Hull University and a prize winning work was submitted to the BBC, he decided to concentrate on music. Wilfrid Mellers invited Vic to undertake a doctorate at the then new music department at York University where his tutors were Robert Sherlaw Johnson and Bernard Rands. From 1980-1984 he was Haywood Fellow at the Barber Institute, then after two years at York University he returned to Birmingham as a full-time lecturer responsible for MDD, an interdisciplinary programme between music, drama and dance. He was subsequently Professor in Composition at Birmingham until his retirement in 2011. In 2015 he was made Emeritus Professor, in recognition of his longstanding and valued contribution to the University of Birmingham.

Commissions have come from many festivals – Aldeburgh, Almeida, Bath, Cheltenham, Warwick and Stratford, Huddersfield, South Bank and York – from organisations such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra and ensembles such as Lontano, the Arditti Quartet, Lindsay Quartet, BCMG, Endymion and Vocem. Works prior to 1994 are held by Universal Edition (Vienna). Works after 1994 are held by Composers Edition. Works include In transit for large orchestra which, together with Vixen, was recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra for NMC records. Most of Vic’s music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The Other Side of the Air and Token are also available on NMC records. The second work in his orchestral triptych, Qibti was premiered at the Barbican on 18 December 2003 and conducted superbly by Sir Andrew Davis.

This performance was nominated for the Royal Philharmonic prize, for its large orchestral category, 2004. His piece for flute and piano, Sicilian Vespas was written in 2006 and first performed at Stratford Music Festival. May 2008 saw the premiere of Pierrot, a tribute to Pierre Boulez and performed in his presence. On 3 June 2009 Token was premiered by the Endymion Ensemble at the King’s Place London. The third and final part of Vic’s orchestral triptych, Phoenix, was premiered on 28 January 2009 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Hey Presto! for 9 players, was given its world premiere by the BCMG, conducted by Diego Masson, on 16 October 2009 at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham. It was given a repeat performance by the same performers at Vic’s farewell concert, “Vale Victor”, at the Barber Institute, early 2011. A recent gift to Melinda Maxwell and Simon Limbrick is ‘Omer for oboe/cor anglais, and keyboard percussion with walking stick. His summa is WULF for 24 voices and 24 instrumentalists, completed May 2014. The four parts are titled WULF, NJAL, YSE and BHATA. Since his retirement at Birmingham he has moved home, to Yorkshire, and lives close to the North York Moors. He part lives in Sicily.