Clifford Hocking AM 1931-2006

Clifford Hocking

Clifford Hocking

In 1997 Hocking was artistic director for the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts.

Clifford Hocking died on 12 June 2006. His life was celebrated in an afternoon of memories and music in Hamer Hall on 29 August 2008.

 

Hocking co-directed the 1988 Melbourne Summer Music Festival, which included artists such as Don Burrows, James Galway and Blossom Dearie. He was artistic director of the 1990 Adelaide Festival, which featured the Abbey Theatre from Ireland, the Lyon Opera Ballet, Richard Rodney Bennett, the French Archaos circus troupe, and the Australian Opera in Tristan and Isolde.

In 1997 Hocking was artistic director for the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts. Highlights included the New York City Ballet, the world premiere of Rites with the Australian Ballet and Bangarra Dance Theatre, the Gate Theatre of Dublin, Joel Grey and Germaine Greer.

In recognition of his ‘service to the arts and entertainment,’ Hocking received an AM in the 1990 Queen’s Birthday honours. The following year he was awarded the first Kenneth Myer Medallion for the Performing Arts. In 2001 Live Performance Australia presented him with the James Cassius Williamson Award in recognition of his contribution to excellence in the performing arts in Australia.

Clifford Hocking died on 12 June 2006. His life was celebrated in an afternoon of memories and music in Hamer Hall on 29 August 2008.

Ian Roberts, who was Hocking’s general manager at the 1997 Melbourne Festival, described him as ‘Our last true impresario… and perhaps our only one. Certainly the only one with the breadth and depth across all industry sectors, all art forms, all styles. His appreciation of the arts was without limit.’

Frank Van Straten, 2007

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Biographical references

Michael Shmith: ‘Restless Spirit with impeccable judgement’, in The Age, 14 June 2006
Simon Plant: ‘Clifford Hocking AM’, in Companion to Theatre in Australia, Currency Press, 1995
Program for the Clifford Hocking Celebration in Hamer Hall, 29 August 2008