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The Guardian festival blog: Huddersfield hits 40 with a broader scope but its spirit undimmed | Music


The UK, even today, is not well blessed with festivals devoted to new music. But when the Huddersfield contemporary music festival began, in 1978, the situation was much worse, with no annual showcase here for what living composers were producing. That such an event took root in an unprepossessing West Yorkshire industrial town in the late 70s was remarkable in itself, especially when most of the activity in new music then was centred on London.

What began on a modest scale under the aegis of Huddersfield Polytechnic (now the University of Huddersfield) – where the festival’s tireless founding director, Richard Steinitz, was a lecturer in music – grew quickly into one of the most important dates in the British musical calendar. The HCMF really hit its stride in the early 80s, hosting a series of important premieres alongside residencies from many of the senior figures of postwar music, from Olivier Messiaen and Terry Riley



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Straight from The Guardian
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