Review of 2016

January 3rd, 2017 No comments

www.phillipcooke.com2016 was another busy year with lots going on in my professional and academic life. Highlights included multiple broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and Classic FM, O salutaris hostia being published by Schott and lots of good reviews of the CD O Sacrum Convivium (featuring three motets of mine). There were performances across the country and further afield, particularly of How Clear, How Lovely and Ave verum corpus. June saw my motet Judas Mercator Pessimus win the inaugural Gesualdo Six composition prize and another motet Prayer to St Alban performed in the annual St Alban Pilgrimage at St Alban’s Cathedral. I didn’t get as much written of The Music of James MacMillan as I hoped, but I’m on research leave now, so hopefully this year. There are broadcasts, CD releases and commissions already planned for 2017, so hopefully it will be just as successful as 2016, though perhaps without some of the political upheavals! PAC

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On Francis Pott’s Balulalow…

December 24th, 2016 No comments

www.phillipcooke.comI try to write something on a festive theme every Christmas with varying degrees of success, usually spending a little time looking at some classic Christmas choral repertoire that continues to inspire and enthuse me – Howells, Warlock, Joubert – the usual stuff. I ventured a little further off the beaten track last year to discuss Harrison Birtwistle’s The Gleam, which is probably one of the most creepy Christmas offerings you are likely to encounter, so I was left wondering where to go this year? Maybe this would be the year that I would write a blog post on Slade, Wizzard or Band Aid? Maybe…or maybe not… Read more…

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Broadcast on Classic FM

December 24th, 2016 No comments

www.phillipcooke.comThere was a lovely broadcast on Classic FM last night (23/12/16) of my arrangement of Silent Night performed by the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir, conducted by Paul Mealor. Amongst other festive fayre, there were pieces by Paul and by Sarah Rimkus, one of my PhD students.

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New Commissions

December 12th, 2016 No comments

www.phillipcooke.comI have recently been commissioned to write two new pieces for performance next year. The first of which is a setting of Laurie Lee’s Twelfth Night for the Glasgow Chamber Choir, which will be performed on the 8 January in a live broadcast for BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship. The second is a ‘pop-up’ opera for the 2017 SOUND festival, taking the 1715 Jacobite Uprising (one of my anorak interests…) as it’s theme. More information to follow.

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Trailer for ‘Immortal Memory – A Burns Night Celebration’

November 20th, 2016 No comments

This rather fetching video recently appeared showing the forthcoming CD from the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir, which will be available to buy from the 20 January (just in time for Burns Night). The CD features my arrangement of Green Grow the Rashes, O! amongst lots of other lovely arrangements and originals.

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December Premieres

November 19th, 2016 No comments

www.phillipcooke.comThe Christmas period will see two premieres by Aberdeen choirs – firstly my new setting of I sing of a maiden will be performed by the King’s College Chapel Choir in the University Carol Service in St Machar’s Cathedral on Wednesday 07 December, conducted by David Smith. The University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir will then perform my new arrangement of Silent Night at the University Carol Service at St Marylebone Parish Church, London on Wednesday 21 December. This concert will be recorded by Classic FM and broadcast on Christmas Day.

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On Being a Composer – Part III: On Musical Mentors…

November 15th, 2016 No comments

www.phillipcooke.comFor the third and final of my trilogy of blogs on being a composer, I thought I’d discuss something that has begun to be an issue in my professional life and will no doubt continue to do so in the coming years – the tricky relationship between student and teacher and the role of mentors in the musical world. Now, this isn’t going to be an in-depth look at pedagogy or teaching methods or a swipe at any higher education establishment and the relative merits of the students it produces, but rather a brief look at what this relationship actually entails, what should I expect to do as a teacher and what should I be expected to give any students that work with me? Read more…

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On Being a Composer – Part II: A Respected Profession?

October 24th, 2016 No comments

www.phillipcooke.comFor the second of my trio of blogs on being a composer I thought I’d turn to something that probably affects all composers, and something that I have a serious hang-up about – whether being a composer in 2016 is actually a respected profession? And I’m not going to turn this into some sort of polemic about the perceived ‘usefulness’ or the creative arts, or whether it was better in 1900 or the marginalisation of ‘classical music’ – rather how I feel about writing music, the interactions I have with the wider public and whether there is an understanding and actual respect for the profession of composer today. Read more…

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On Being a Composer – Part I: Professional Jealousy…

October 14th, 2016 No comments

www.phillipcooke.comWith there being a reading week at the university where I work I have finally carved out some time from a frenetic start of the academic year to write down a few thoughts, something reflective and practice-based for a change. I’ve recently been mulling over a few things in my head, a few things on what it means to be a composer in 2016 – nothing earth-shattering and certainly nothing about the diminishing role of classical music in society or the post-Brexit artistic wasteland we are heading towards – mainly things to do with how I feel about writing music and the interactions I have in my day-to-day artistic life. I thought I’d try to do three over the next week, some of which may strike a chord (no pun intended) with other composers, some of which may only be pertinent to me. I thought I’d begin with something that is felt be everyone (other than the very few who are pure of soul…) – professional jealousy. Read more…

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Recording Session Photos

October 9th, 2016 No comments

Here are some photos from the recent recording session at St Mary’s Chapel, Blairs, Aberdeenshire. Paul Mealor conducts the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir.

img_2180www.phillipcooke.com

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