An exciting month of performances and premieres will take place this month across the country. The Chapel Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen will give the premiere of my new anthem The Souls of the Righteous in the University Remembrance Service on the 8th. This will be followed by the premiere of my oratorio Noah’s Fire in Chester Cathedral on the 21st. The month finishes with the premiere of a new piece The World on Fire by the Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford on the 28th. And the Glasgow Chamber Choir will also give two advent performances of There is no rose – busy times!
I have recently finished a couple of new works for forthcoming performance. The most substantial is the piece By Reason of Darkness for community choir and tubular bells, setting sections of Job and G S Fraser. An off-shoot from this is the short work for SATB, Hometown Fragments which again sets Fraser and will form part of a ‘sonic walk’ through Aberdeen on the 7/8 November. There is also a new anthem, The Souls of the Righteous for SATB and organ which will be premièred in Aberdeen on the 4 November. I have uploaded recent recordings of performances of Hometown Fragments and my work for choir and saxophone, Woman! Behold Thy Son! which was performed by Siglo de oro in July.
A busy Autumn will begin soon with performances taking place across the country. The wonderful choir of St Bride’s, Fleet Street, will perform my first setting of the Evening Service (2009) on the 20 September, conducted by Robert Jones. The world premiere of my work for community choir By Reason of Darkness (2015) will open the 2015 Sound Festival in Aberdeen on the 22 October. This will be followed shortly afterwards with a new setting of The Souls of the Righteous (2015) for the Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen University. November the 21st will see the most important premiere of the year, with Noah’s Fire (2015) being premiered in Chester Cathedral by the Chester Music Society Choir and Liverpool Sinfonia coducted by Graham Jordan Ellis. November finishes with two Advent performances of There is no rose (2013) performed by the Glasgow Chamber Choir, conducted by Michael Bawtree.
Organist Ed Jones will perform my short organ works Elegy (2003) and Praeludium (2013) at Carlisle Cathedral during evensong tonight. Ed (who is a recent PhD graduate at Aberdeen University and Assistant Director of Music at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen) will shortly begin the position of Organ Scholar at Blackburn Cathedral.
On the 11 July, one of the country’s finest young choirs, Siglo de Oro will give the world première of my new work for choir and saxophone, Woman, behold thy son! (2015). The piece is a part of a multi-composer setting of the ‘Seven Last Words from the Cross’ and features contributions from John Harle, Alexander Campkin, Thomas Hewitt Jones and others. The première will take place in St George’s Basilica, Gozo, Malta as part of the Victoria International Arts Festival 2015. The choir are conducted by Patrick Allies and the saxophone will be played by Sam Corkin. A UK performance is planned for later this year.
This Sunday (07/06) will see a performance of my early organ work Elegy (2003) at the Chapel of Haddo House in Aberdeenshire. This stately home has a long and distinguished association with the arts (the Haddo Arts Festival welcomed Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten in the 1950s and 60s) and the work will be played by the University Junior Organ Scholar, Peter Relph.
Here are two photos from the recent recording session in Aberdeen of three of my motets. David Smith conducts the King’s College Chapel Choir.
On Saturday the Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen will give another performance of three of my motets (O lux beata Trinitas, O sacrum convivium and Veni Sancte Spiritus) as part of the University’s ‘May Festival’ alongside works by Aberdeen PhD students John Hudson and Tom LaVoy. The following week the choir, directed by David Smith, will record the motets for release in 2016.
It was great to hear my work Invocation (2010) on BBC Radio 3’s The Choir yesterday. The show was dedicated to works for choir and brass and they played the recording from the recent CD release Phillip Cooke, Choral Music. The show can be heard here (UK only, available until the 14 April).
This month, the Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen, will perform three of my motets: Veni Sancte Spiritus (2012) and O lux beata Trinitis (2013) [08/03]; Veni Sancte Spiritus [04/03] and O Sacrum convivium [18/03] all will be conducted by David Smith.