Hammond, Philip (Alexander)
- Michael Russ
(b Belfast, May 5, 1951). Northern Ireland composer, pianist and critic. At Queen's University, Belfast (BMus 1973, MA 1974), he studied composition with Raymond Warren and Adrian Thomas. He also studied the piano with Rhona Marshall at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. In 1988, after a period of school and university teaching he became Music Director and subsequently Performing Arts Director of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Hammond has written for a wide range of media and performers from school children to professionals. His music is direct in expression and tends to eschew excessive complexity. He describes himself as a romantic; the dark side of this comes through in Thanatos (1977), a pioneering work by a Northern Ireland composer in the field of electro-acoustic composition, and the introspective Narcissus (1981). Echoes of Schoenberg and Berg may be felt in his works of the early and mid-1980s, and Hammond's usually strong contact with tonality is here at its most tenuous. German poetry, particularly that of Hesse, has been an important influence. ...