11 New Commissions
Title: 'May God Shield You On Every Step'
Text : Carmina Gadelica
David Bedford 1937 - 2011
David Bedford studied with Lennox Berkeley and Luigi Nono. In the course of a varied career he collaborated with musicians from the rock world, wrote and orchestrated music for film and television and composed extensively for educational and community purposes, including a number of works written for deaf children and young adults with special needs and a community piece commissioned by the Aldeburgh Festival for it's 60th anniversary. For over 30 years David was commissioned by major orchestras, festivals, ensembles, soloists and the BBC, including four commissions for The Proms.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 21st March 2012 from Bristol Cathedral
Title: ‘Corpus Christi Carol’
Judith Bingham b. 1952
Judith Bingham studied composing and singing at the Royal Academy of Music. For many years she was a member of the BBC Singers; between 2004 and 2009 she was their Composer in Association, during which time, in addition to several works for the BBC Singers, she wrote pieces for professional, amateur and collegiate choirs including King's College Cambridge and the BBC Symphony Chorus at the Proms. In addition to her choral works, Judith has written for brass band, for solo instruments, symphonic wind bands, chamber groups and large orchestra, and a substantial number of pieces for organ.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 8th February 2012 from Manchester Cathedral
Click here to view the edited transcript of a YouTube interview with Judith Bingham
Title: ‘O Joyful Light’
Text: Phos Hilaron
Diana Burrell b. 1948
Diana Burrell has a catalogue of nearly one hundred works in many different genres, from string quartets to chamber ensemble pieces, choral works, opera and orchestral works including four concerti. Recent pieces include Concerto for Violin with Singer and 3 Ensembles, Phos for organ, cello and percussion and The Hours, a large cycle of eight pieces for organ and various different ensembles structured round the ancient liturgical hours of the Church. When not composing, Burrell is often to be found walking over the salt marshes near where she lives, or bird-watching on the Stour Estuary.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 7th November 2012 from Westminster Cathedral.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
Title: ‘Advent Calendar’
Text : Poem by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies b.1934
Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost composers of our time, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has made a significant contribution to musical history through his wide-ranging and prolific output. He lives in the Orkney Islands where he writes most of his music. Maxwell Davies’ huge output of work includes operas, two ballets, music-theatre works, eight symphonies and numerous concerti, light orchestral works and large-scale works for chorus. Maxwell Davies has guest-conducted international orchestras at the highest level and retains close links with the St. Magnus Festival, which he founded in 1977. He was knighted in 1987 and appointed Master of The Queen's Music in 2004.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 5th December 2012 from Westminster Abbey
Author of the text to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s anthem – Advent Calendar
Rowan Williams b. 1950
Rowan Williams is an archbishop, theologian and poet. He grew up in Swansea and read theology at Christ’s College, Cambridge and Wadham College, Oxford. Following academic appointments at Oxford and Cambridge, he was elected Bishop of Monmouth in 1991 and Archbishop of Wales in 1999, a post he held for three years before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury in 2002. Dr Williams is acknowledged internationally as an outstanding theological writer, scholar and teacher and a noted poet and translator of poetry. The Poems of Rowan Williams, which includes translations from Welsh and Russian poets alongside his own poetry, was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year in 2004.
Title: ‘Sincerity, Beloved of Christ’
Text: Poem by Christopher Smart
Michael Finnissy b.1946
Michael Finnissy is a composer who has also worked as a pianist for ballet and contemporary dance classes, and as a university academic. He was president of the International Society for Contemporary Music from 1990-1996. He was awarded an FRCM in 2008. As a recitalist he has created more than two hundred new works, mainly by British composers, including Elisabeth Lutyens, Judith Weir, Laurence Crane, James Dillon, Oliver Knussen, Chris Newman, Howard Skempton and Andrew Toovey. His music is performed worldwide, and commercially recorded on English, Dutch, German, Norwegian, American, Australian, Canadian and Japanese CD labels.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 23rd May 2012 from Wells Cathedral
Title: ‘Cities and Thrones and Powers’
Text: Poem by Rudyard Kipling
Alexander Goehr b. 1932
Alexander Goehr is a symbol of the continuing intellectual and creative vitality of British music. Son of the conductor Walter Goehr, he studied in Manchester and in Paris with Messaien and Loriod. He has shown a lifelong aptitude for reconciling and extending the Schoenbergian vision to aspects of today’s culture. His operas tackle subjects of contemporary political importance, his orchestral works, trenchantly expressive, are the calculus of his compositional thought. Following classical tradition, Goehr is a skilled composer of chamber music. He enjoys an international reputation, not only as a composer but also as a lecturer and highly esteemed teacher.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 29th February 2012 from Kings College, Cambridge
Title: ‘Prayer the Church’s Banquet’
Text: Poem by George Herbert
Francis Grier b. 1955
Francis Grier was a chorister at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, organ scholar at King's College, Cambridge and organist at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, where he commissioned numerous works from John Tavener, William Mathias, Giles Swayne and others. He now combines his work as a psychoanalyst with composing and performing. He has been commissioned to write numerous works for the BBC and for various cathedral and collegiate foundations in this country and abroad, including, in 1996, a setting of Psalm 150 as a birthday present for the Queen, and, in 2006, a large-scale setting of the Passion for the BBC Singers, King's College Cambridge and VocalEssence in Minneapolis.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 7th March 2012 from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Title: ‘Prayer for Africa’
Nigel Osborne b.1948
Nigel Osborne's works have been featured in international festivals and performed by many leading orchestras and ensembles around the world. In particular, he has had close ties with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta, Hebrides Ensemble and Ensemble Intercontemporain and has composed extensively for the theatre, with operas and music theatre works for Glyndebourne, English National Opera, Opera Circus, Shakespeare's Globe and BBC Radio 3. Osborne has pioneered the use of music in therapy and rehabilitation for children who are victims of conflict; he is noted particularly for his work in the Balkans as well as in the Caucasus, Africa and the Middle East.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 15th August 2012 from St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh
Title: ‘Joy at the Sound’
Text: Poem by Roger McGough
Roxanna Panufnik b. 1968
Roxanna Panufnik has written a wide range of pieces – opera, ballet, music theatre, choral and chamber works, and music for film and television – which have been performed all over the world. Highlights of her works include Westminster Mass, commissioned for Westminster Cathedral Choir on the occasion of Cardinal Hume's 75th birthday; settings for solo voices and orchestra of Vikram Seth's Beastly Tales, a violin concerto for Daniel Hope incorporating Christian, Islamic and Jewish music and an oratorio for the youth choirs of Tallinn and the Tallinn Philharmonic Orchestra, commissioned to mark their tenure as European Capital of Culture.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 17th October 2012 from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
Author of the text to Roxanna Panufnik’s anthem – Joy at the Sound
Roger McGough b.1937
Roger McGough was born in Liverpool and is the author of over 70 books of poetry for both adults and children. During the Sixties he was part of the Scaffold whose song Lily the Pink was a hit worldwide. He helped write the script for the Yellow Submarine animation film. He was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in 2001 and with a CBE in 2008. He currently presents Poetry Please on BBC Radio 4.
Title: ‘Church Music’
Text: Poem by George Herbert
Julian Philips b. 1969
Born in Wales and brought up in Warwickshire, Julian Philips studied music at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He works extensively in the opera house, concert hall, theatre and ballet and is a vital force in education, currently holding the position of Head of Composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Philips recently completed a period as Composer in Residence at Glyndebourne Opera. His orchestral works have been performed at events such as the Proms and at the Tanglewood Summer Music Festival. Current projects include a new work for choir and orchestra for the Ealing Choral Society and a dance project with Aurora Orchestra.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 9th May 2012 from Truro Cathedralwww.trurocathedral.org.uk
Text : Poem by Thomas Traherne
David Sawer b. 1961
David Sawer studied music at the University of York and later with Mauricio Kagel in Cologne. His music ranges from chamber music to ensemble and orchestral works such as Tiroirs and the greatest happiness principle, as well as musical works for the theatre, most recently his highly acclaimed ballet Rumpelstiltskin, described in the Independent as 'a rich broth of Petrushka-esque carnival music, Depression-era dance music and melancholy doynas'. In his profile of Sawer, Gerard McBurney writes 'It is the purity and precision of David Sawer's music that immediately capture the ear, the restlessly shifting, twinkling, swirling surfaces of his always glittering streams of sound'.
Broadcast Premiere : BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on 13th June 2012 from York Minster