Composer in Residence

June 23rd, 2018 No comments

I recently took on the position of Composer in Residence with The Harry Ensemble, who I wrote the piece Veni Sponsa Christi for in 2015 and have since gone on to perform it many times in the UK, Norway, Sweden and most recently in Barcelona. The choir will perform my motet Nunc dimittis later this year and I will be writing them some new works in the coming years. Looking forward to working with the choir and their director Edward Rhys Harry.

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Head of Music

June 23rd, 2018 No comments

I have recently taken on the role of Head of Music at the Department of Music at the University of Aberdeen, where I have been working for the past five years. I shall be fulfilling this position for the next three years and hope to carry on the good work of my predecessors.

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The Month Ahead

April 30th, 2018 No comments

May is a month of premieres, performances, broadcasts and recordings. The Chor Akademicki Politechniki Warszawskiej will give the premiere of my new Magnificat on the 10 May in the university in Warsaw, this followed a week later (16/05) by the premiere of my Fourth Service [St Pancras] as part of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, which will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3’s Choral Evensong. The month continues with the premiere of Ave Maria, mater Dei by The Sixteen and the choristers of Eton College at Eton (22/05, live streamed on Classic FM), with The Sixteen recording the work later in the month for CD release next year. The month ends with the King’s College Choir of Aberdeen performing Locus iste (26/05) and The Harry Ensemble giving the Spanish premiere of Veni Sponsa Christi (2015) in the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona on the 27th.

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The Month Ahead

April 10th, 2018 No comments

There a few performances of my works taking place this month in the UK and Poland. On Sunday (08/04) the Harlequin Singers will perform my second set of Preces and Responses (2012) in service at St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. The University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir will give the Polish premiere of Nunc Dimittis (2017) in a concert at Warsaw Cathedral on the 20/04 with a further performance the day after.

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The Music of James MacMillan

March 26th, 2018 No comments

I was very pleased to sign a contract last month with the publisher Boydell & Brewer for my monograph on James MacMillan to be published next year. I have been working on the book for over a year now and hope to have the manuscript finished in September this year. It will be the first book on MacMillan and has the working title of The Music of James MacMillan. Just another 40,000 words to write…

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The Month Ahead

February 3rd, 2018 No comments

There are a few performances of my works taking place this month across the country. The wonderful Chapel Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen (our university chapel choir) will give two performances of my new motet Locus Iste (7 and 11 February) in the chapel, conducted by John F. Hudson. On the 4th, the choir of the Holy Trinity Church, York will give a performance of Nunc Dimittis (2017) conducted by John Bradbury. On the 18th there will be another outing of my first setting of the Evening Service (2009) at Ely Cathedral. On the 24-25 I will be in Stroud in Gloucestershire to attend a weekend residential course with the Genesis Sixteen choir who will be working on my new piece Ave Maria, mater Dei before The Sixteen give the premiere in May.

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Review of 2017

January 1st, 2018 No comments

2017 was a good year for me with lots of exciting things happening across my career. It was a year of broadcasts, recordings and performances with the opportunity to work with many new people in interesting new places. I was lucky to be on sabbatical from my academic position for the first six months of the year which meant some concerted work on The Music of James MacMillan which is progressing well, with a 2019 publication date a possibility. I also gave two key-note papers at conferences in York and Warsaw as well as attending the Dutch premiere of Three Partsongs in Leiden in October. I was thrilled to be promoted to senior lecturer at work and have continued to help grow the fantastic Department of Music at the University of Aberdeen. There were performances in Dublin, Krakow, London, Oxford and four different US premieres (which included a competition win). There were three CDs released on which I had pieces, including a number one in the specialist charts by The Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford. One of the highlights was the premiere of The Twilight People by the BBC Singers in November, with a broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2018. Hopefully 2018 will be just as successful and will also see the end of Brexit! PAC

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US Premiere of ‘The World on Fire’

December 28th, 2017 No comments

It was a lovely pre-Christmas present to hear that my short work The World on Fire (2015) was given it’s US premiere on the 11 November by the Te Deum Chamber Choir, conducted by Matthew Christopher Shepherd. There were two performances of the piece in Kansas, in a fabulous looking programme including pieces by Dove and McDowell amongst others.

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On Jan Sandström’s ‘Es ist ein Ros entsprungen’…

December 22nd, 2017 No comments

I try to find something seasonal to write about every festive period, something stimulating and unusual, something that interests me and excites my ears – it gets harder every year. But I soldier on, searching recent programmes and CDs, broadcasts and social media looking for something worth writing about. And this year I nearly gave up (life’s too short to spend that long looking for obscure Christmas carols), I contemplated writing about one of my own but realised quickly that would be a very bad idea. Then I remembered Jan Sandström’s Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (‘Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming’) and I thought I’d write about that. Why not! Read more…

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‘Susanni’ Premiere and CD Release

December 18th, 2017 No comments

My work Susanni (2015) was premiered in Manchester last week by the exciting young chamber choir, Kantos, conducted by Elspeth Slorach. The same concert was also a CD launch for a new collection of contemporary Christmas carols entitled The Silver Stars at Play. The CD features works by Maxwell Davies, McCabe, Frances-Hoad and my PhD student Sarah Rimkus amongst many others. You can buy a copy here.

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