Hugh Dixon was born in Sydney in 1927. Since the age of 12 he has lived in New Zealand, with the exception of a stay of almost two years in Sydney between 1977-79. Educated at Hutt Valley High School, Hugh received his first musical experience in the school brass band, beginning on tenor horn, then on cornet and later, trumpet.
Hugh obtained an MMus (Hons) degree from the University of Auckland in 1968. Previously he had studied science and music at Victoria University of Wellington and music at Canterbury University of Christchurch. His other qualifications include: Diploma of Teaching from the Wellington Teachers’ College; L.R.S.M; F.T.C.L. – both on trumpet performance.
A primary school teacher for a year; Hugh also worked for a builder in Leamington, Cambridge where he built his house; he was a secondary teacher of music and general science nine years; a teacher of brass instruments for the Auckland Education Board twenty years; a part-time private teacher of brass instruments and music theory eighteen years. He was also a part-time professional trumpet player for seven years in the Symphonia of Auckland (now Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra).
In 1967 Hugh founded the Auckland Youth Symphonic Band (AYSB) and conducted it for 10 years. This was the first band of its kind in New Zealand – the only other wind band at that time being the NZ Navy Band. The group expanded in numbers (over 80) and in 1973 it was found necessary to form two divisions – a junior and senior. They still flourish, but the senior division is now called the Auckland Wind Orchestra (AWO).
Hugh Dixon was a tutor and conductor at the annual National Secondary Schools Orchestral Holiday Courses under the auspices of the Education Board for twenty years. He was the founder/conductor of the Phoenix Wind Ensemble (later re-named Auckland Concert Band)5. Hugh organised numerous chamber music concerts and also conducted during this period. He was the conductor of the wind ensembles at the Cambridge Music Schools 1982–84 and South Auckland Choral Society and orchestra in Handel’s Messiah 1982. Conducted a season of 31 performances of The Mikado at the Mercury Theatre, Auckland 1987, and the St. Matthew Chamber Orchestra’s three Summer Concerts 1987–89. It was in the 1987 summer concert that Hugh's work Song Celestial (in 3 movements for soprano and chamber orchestra) was performed with the composer’s daughter, Wendy, in the singing role.
Hugh Dixon became member of the Composer’s Federation of New Zealand and of the Fellowship of Australian Composers, but has not kept up their subs. Still a Member of APRA (since 1983), he was listed in New Zealand Who’s Who Aotearoa 1994 Edition.
Up until retirement from teaching, composing was spread thinly over the years – “busy with other things!” From 1988 Hugh held positions in The Theosophical Society (TS) of New Zealand, namely, National Lecturer, National Vice-President, National President. For many years a student of Eastern and Western philosophies, Hugh also lectured at the various branches throughout NZ up until about 2004. As well, Hugh lectured in T.S. Branches in five Australian cities (several times in Brisbane and Sydney), and once in a TS Convention in India (Chennai, previously called Madras), and at a TS convention in Brasilia. He was also the Editor of the Society’s quarterly magazine Theosophy in New Zealand for six years until 2006.
for soprano, horn and piano, 4m
for mezzo-soprano and piano, 2m
for wind octet, 3m
for brass quintet, 6m
for orchestra, 10m
for trombone and concert band, 13m
for concert band, 8m
for horn quartet, 8m
for clarinet and bassoon, 2m
for brass (11 players), timpani and snare drum, 2m
for mezzo-soprano and piano, 13m
for orchestra, 7m
for soprano, horn and piano, 9m
for concert band, 9m
for flute, violin, horn and cello, 6m
for string trio, 2m 25s
for flute, violin, horn and cello, 21m
for wind octet, 11m
for SSA choir and orchestra, 7m
for soprano and piano, 2m
for soprano, tenor, flute and piano, 11m
for soprano and horn, 12m
for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, 15m
for flute, violin, cello (or horn) and tabla, 20m
for clarinet and piano, 5m
for flute, violin, horn and cello
for flute, violin, viola and cello
for soprano, dancers and chamber ensemble, 20m
for flute and string orchestra
for soprano and piano
for string quartet, 9m
for string quartet
for string quartet, 22m
for string quartet, 17m
for flute, violin, horn and cello, 22m
for concert band, 20m
for soprano and piano, 5m
for string orchestra, 8m
for flute, violin, viola (or horn) and cello, 9m
for flute, violin, horn and cello, 20m
for soprano and piano, 14m
for SATB choir and piano, 5m 15s
for soprano and two horns, 3m 20s
for soprano, tenor and horn, 3m
for violin, horn and piano, 21m 30s
for three trumpets, 1m
for orchestra, 30m
for soprano, horn and cello