Composer wrote for British royalty

From Times Wire Reports

Alun Hoddinott, 78, a composer who wrote music for the British royal family and was an influential promoter of modern music in his native Wales, died Wednesday at a hospital in Swansea, Wales, his family said. They did not release the cause of death.

Hoddinott composed more than 300 operas, symphonies and songs, including music for Prince Charles' 16th birthday and a fanfare for the prince's marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005.

Born in the Welsh mining town of Bargoed in 1929, Hoddinott took violin lessons at age 4 and won a university scholarship at 16.

He studied with Australian composer and pianist Arthur Benjamin and wrote his first major concerto in 1949 while he was still a student.

Hoddinott became a lecturer at the Welsh College of Music and Drama in 1951 and later headed the music department at University College, Cardiff, from 1967 to 1987.

His first opera, "The Beach of Falesa" (1974), was the first full-length commission by the Welsh National Opera.

With a friend, pianist John Ogdon, Hoddinott founded the Cardiff Festival of 20th-Century Music in 1976. It became a key venue for promoting contemporary music in Wales.

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