Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1934, Sydney Hodkinson received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from the Eastman School of Music where he studied composition with Louis Mennini and Bernard Rogers. He continued his studies in composition at the Princeton Seminars with Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions, and Milton Babbitt. Hodkinson received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Michigan in 1968, studying with Leslie Bassett, Niccolo Castiglioni, Ross Lee Finney and George B. Wilson. Brief private studies with Benjamin Britten and Luigi Dallapiccola ensued.
Dr. Hodkinson has taught at the Universities of Virginia, Ohio and Michigan and, during 1970-72, served as artist-in-residence in Minneapolis under a grant from the Ford Foundation Contemporary Music Project. He joined the faculty of the Conducting and Ensembles Department of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester in 1973, assuming the directorship of the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble and later, the Kilbourn Orchestra. During 1984-86, he served as Meadows Distinguished Professor of Composition at Southern Methodist University, and in 1991 was Visiting Professor of Composition at the University of Western Ontario. In 1995, Hodkinson assumed teaching duties in the Composition Department at the Eastman School until his retirement in January of 1999. Since then, he has conducted the New Music Group at Oberlin College (2001), served as Visiting Professor of Composition at Indiana University (2002), Duke University (2003), and in 2004 accepted the Almand Chair of Composition at Stetson University, Deland, FL. Hodkinson also currently conducts the Contemporary Ensemble and serves as a composer-in-residence at the Aspen Colorado Music Festival and School. During the Spring of 2012, he was awarded the Bolcom extended residency in composition at the University of Michigan and in March 2012 served as composer-in-residence at Indiana University.