I am very excited to announce that the first CD of my work will be released on the 14 April 2014. The CD, entitled Phillip Cooke, Choral Music will be released on the Regent Records label and will be available to buy from all good record stores, the Regent Records website and from iTunes. It features 10 pieces of mine from 2008-12 all performed by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, Tim Parsons (organ) and Onyx Brass – all conducted by Sarah MacDonald. There will be two ‘launch’ events: the first at Aberdeen University on the 17 March where I will be playing selections from the CD and discussing my work (as well as selling CDs…), the second will be at the JAM concert at St Bride’s, Fleet Street in London on the 20 March where Selwyn and Onyx will perform one of the tracks, The Hazel Wood in a concert that also features Paul Mealor’s The Farthest Shore. I will be giving a pre-concert talk before the concert and selling CDs as well.
To be honest, it hasn’t been the most productive second half of the year with various other commitments getting in the way of composing (teaching, moving house, Howells book, new baby…) but I have managed to finish three short choral pieces. The most significant is There is no rose which was written for Aberdeen’s leading chamber choir, Con Anima and performed twice over the Christmas period. Continuing the Advent theme, there is a short setting of the Matin Responsory and a little Wedding gift, Wedding Introit. It was a busy time with premieres and performances, and I have uploaded recordings of Veni Sancte Spiritus (Aberdeen University Chamber Choir, St Asaph Cathedral), O lux Beata Trinitas (King’s College Chapel Choir, Aberdeen, St Machar’s Cathedral), O Sacrum Convivium (ditto) and the Second Service (St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir, Aberdeen, St Andrew’s Cathedral). There is also a live recording of the premiere of the song-cycle Sudden Light by Jeremy Huw Williams performed at this year’s Sound Festival in Aberdeen. More to follow soon. PAC
Autumn is a busy season of premieres and performances for me, with the majority being in my adopted home town of Aberdeen. Many of the performances are by the Chapel Choir of King’s College (the University chapel) who are performing the Three Partsongs and three motets in a concert in the chapel on the 22 November. Prior to this they have given the premiere of two motets in recent services: O lux Beata Trinitas (27/10) and O Sacrum Convivium (03/11) and will give the Scottish premiere of the third, Veni Sancte Spiritus, on Sunday 10 November. Jeremy Huw Williams gave the premiere of my song-cycle Sudden Light as part of the Sound Festival at St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen on the 30 November and on the 11 November the Girl Choristers and Lay clerks of Ely Cathedral will perform my first setting of the Evening Service in evensong in the cathedral. On the 13 November the University New Music Group (conducted by me) will perform three works of mine and two arrangements in the chapel at 17.15. Looking slightly further ahead, the choir of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen will give the Scottish premiere of my Second Service on the 4 Decemeber and the Aberdeen based choir Con Anima will perform my new carol, There is no rose, twice, on Saturday 14 December. I should imagine after that, the good people of Aberdeen will be truly sick of my music. PAC
The leading baritone Jeremy Huw Williams will give the world premiere of my new song cycle Sudden Light at St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen on Wednesday 31 October at 13.10. The concert is part of the Sound Festival and contains new works by my colleague Pete Stollery and by Joseph Phibbs. I will be giving a pre-concert talk at 12.30 in the same venue.
The Aberdeen University Chamber Choir will give the world premiere of a new short motet of mine, Veni Sancte Spiritus in a late night concert in St Asaph Cathedral on Monday 23 September at 22.00. The concert will be conducted by Paul Mealor and will feature works by two of my graduate students (Ed Jones and Gemma McGregor) as well as works by Faure and Howard Goodall. The concert is part of the North Wales International Music Festival 2013.
I was recently made aware of this excellent recording of my first set of Preces and Responses (2009) performed by the choir MiContraFa at St James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. The recording can be listen to on their website here. The choir will give the US premiere of my Evening Service (2009) in the same venue on Sunday 12 January 2014.
Despite a summer mainly taken up with moving house I have managed to finish three works. Sarabande (in modo elegiaco) is an arrangement of Hebert Howells’s organ work of the same name from his Six Pieces for Organ and will be performed by the Aberdeen University Contemporary Music Group in a composer portrait concert of your truly in November. I have also finished two short choral works: Wedding Introit is a setting of the famous lines of Virgil (‘Love conquers all’) and Matin Responsory is a setting of the first responsory of Advent Sunday. Now for the oratorio.
I have recently finished two new pieces: Secret Ceremonials for trumpet and piano (for the Arcomis International Brass Event) and a song-cycle Sudden Light for the baritone Jeremy Huw Williams. I have also uploaded two new recordings: Con Anima performing Ave verum corpus (2008) in Aberdeen in May and The Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge performing The Eternal Ecstasy (2013) in Cambridge last month. Now for a holiday. PAC
The Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge will record my new motet The Eternal Ecstasy in Ely Cathedral this week as the title track of their new CD. Alongside my work there will be pieces by many of the world’s leading choral composers including Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, James MacMillan and Paul Mealor. There are also works by some of this country’s finest composers including Cecilia McDowell, David Bednall and John Duggan. The CD will be released in 2014 on the Regent Records label. More info to follow.
The Scottish premiere of Ave verum corpus (from Three Marian Motets, 2008) will be given this Saturday (11/05/2013) at High Hilton Church, Aberdeen. The piece will be performed by the North East of Scotland’s premiere chamber choir, Con Anima and will be conducted by Paul Mealor. The main piece on the programme will be Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms alongside shorter works by MacMillan, Leighton and Lauridsen.