Ali Hazelwood Biography & Facts
Charles Matthew Egerton Hazlewood (born 14 November 1966) is a British conductor. After winning the European Broadcasting Union conducting competition in 1995 whilst still in his twenties, Hazlewood has had a career as an international conductor, music director of film and theatre, composer and a curator of music on British radio and television, Motivational Speaker and founder of Paraorchestra – the world's first integrated ensemble of disabled and non-disabled musicians. He was a guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in May 2019 and became Sky Arts' Ambassador for Music in January 2021.
Education and early career
Hazlewood attended Christ's Hospital school in West Sussex where he was a chorister and organist. He later gained an organ scholarship to Keble College, Oxford in 1986, graduating in 1989. He made his London debut with his own chamber orchestra, Eos, in January 1991.
Hazlewood has conducted many orchestras, including the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, as well as the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Orchestra of St Luke’s, New York.
He has conducted over 100 world premieres and is a founder of the British Paraorchestra, which performed together with the band Coldplay at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. He has also initiated several projects that explore common ground between different musical disciplines, such as "Urban Classic" (2006), which drew together together five grime emcees and the BBC Concert Orchestra.In 2003 Hazlewood formed Army of Generals, a period instrument orchestra, to record with him all the music for his BBC films on Mozart, Beethoven and the Birth of British Music. Army of Generals would regularly collaborate with Paraorchestra until the ensemble was fully integrated into Paraorchestra in 2019.
In 2008 Hazlewood formed his All Star Collective ensemble to play Tubular Bells at the Glastonbury Festival, featuring artists from across genres including Adrian Utley of Portishead, Will Gregory of Goldfrapp and jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard. It went on to play the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Sage Gateshead and St George’s Bristol in 2011, a re-enactment of Mike Oldfield's own group performance 38 years previously. In 2012 Jason Yarde, and composer Graham Fitkin joined joined the All-Stars in a performance of Terry Riley's A Rainbow in Curved Air at the Bristol Old Vic.In 2009 he staged his first festival “Play the Field” with Dragons’ Den’s Deborah Meadon with the mutual goal of bringing music to a wider audience in the West Country. The festival included a complete performance of Holst's The Planets which saw artists from his All-Star collective including Goldfrapp's Will Gregory and Adrian Utley of Portishead, saxophonists Andy Sheppard and Jason Yarde, drummer Tony Orrell, keyboardist Graham Fitkin and harpist Ruth Wall improvise electronic responses to each orchestral planet from a separate stage across the site. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in September 2009.In 2010 Hazlewood conducted a live score for the 1926 silent film The Passion of Joan Arc, composed by Adrian Utley and Will Gregory, commissioned by Bristol Beacon and Watershed Media centre. It opened at Bristol Beacon in May 2010.His "Orchestra in a Field" festival took place at Glastonbury Abbey in 2012 with performances of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Bizet’s Carmen, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells and a collaboration with Professor Green and Labrinth.Their “Thunderbirds are Go!” project was launched in 2014 at Glastonbury Festival, a celebration of work by composer Barry Gray. The show also featured at the 6 Music Festival in 2016 with guest vocalist Jarvis Cocker and members of Paraorchestra. Charles Hazlewood’s All Star Collective was integrated into Paraorchestra in 2019.
Hazlewood is Artistic Director of Paraorchestra, the world's first fully integrated ensemble of professional musicians with and without disabilities, which he founded together with television director Claire Whalley in November 2011. The orchestra was the subject of a documentary by Channel Four, screened in the hours between the end of the final sporting event at London 2012 Paralympics and the Closing Ceremony where they made their world debut alongside Coldplay.
Paraorchestra exists to recognise and showcase disabled musicians with extraordinary abilities, and to demonstrate their full integration into orchestral music. Just as the Paralympics have achieved in sport, Paraorchestra aims to shift perceptions of disability in creating a visible platform for gifted disabled musicians to perform and excel at the highest level, integrating talented players with disabilities into mainstream performances. The ensemble play an unconventional mix of acoustic, analogue, digital, and assistive technology instruments, drawing on the unique talents of their musicians and collaborating with high profile artists from across genres to create new and accessible orchestral music experiences.
In 2016 Paraorchestra performed the first ever orchestral headliner at Glastonbury Festival with Philip Glass’ "Heroes" Symphony. They returned to the festival the following year in 2017 with Play! – a symphonic repertoire of songs from the gaming world, conducted by Hazlewood, which was performed again in 2018 at The Barbican, London.In 2019 Paraorchestra took their Love Unlimited Synth Orchestra, conducted by Hazlewood, to The Park stage, celebrating the genius of Barry White alongside Gruff Rhys, Nadine Shah, Larry Heard, Eno Williams of Ibibio Sound Machine, YolanDa Brown, Adrian Utley, Clive Deamer and Lianne La Havas.
In 2017 Hazlewood created kraftwerk re:werk, a reimaging of Trans-Europe Express by German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, which was first performed at Bristol’s Simple Things Festival. The ensemble consisted of symphonic and electronic instruments performing an arrangement of fragments of melodies, rhythms, and sounds from the original album, composed by Charlotte Harding and Lloyd Coleman. In 2018 kraftwerk re:werk played The Marble Factory, Bristol, Brighton Dome, Basingstoke Anvil, and WOMAD festival in 2019.The Anatomy of the Orchestra, created and conducted by Hazlewood in 2018, saw a 50-strong ensemble of Paraorchestra musicians spread across the Atrium of Bristol Beacon, performing Steve Reich’s The Four Sections. The performance invited audiences to move about the space and explore the orchestra, creating their own sonic experience of the piece . It played the Arnhem Foyer, Fairfield Halls, Croydon in November 2018. In 2020, Hazlewood and Paraorchestra were commissioned by the British Council to perform a version of Anatomy of the Orchestra at Garage Museum of Contemporary Arts in Moscow as part of the UK-Russia Year of Music. An ensemble of Paraorchestra musicians p.... Discover the Ali Hazelwood popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Ali Hazelwood books.