Category Archive: Composer in Focus

Profiling relevant or interesting composers.

Sep 17

Hail and farewell, Sir David Willcocks

Sad to note today the passing of Sir David Willcocks, former Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge and the Royal College of Music, conductor of the Bach Choir, organist, conductor, composer and best-known as editor, along with John Rutter, of the popular anthology, Carols for Choirs. It’s no understatement to say that Carols for Choirs has …

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Nov 13

In memoriam: Sir John Tavener

A sad loss to the world of contemporary music, the death of Sir John Tavener yesterday at the age of 69. It’s become something of cliché to write Tavener’s music off as a sort of ‘holy minimalism,’ yet this is to glibly dismiss a music that tapped into a unique corner of the British musical …

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Feb 07

Putting the fine in undefinable: the music of Graham Fitkin

Graham Fitkin‘s music first attracted my attention in 1998, when I came across an SPNM sampler disc containing a tantalising segment of Cud and a complete performance of Hook which all but took my head off. That was enough: bam, I was, well…hooked. I think I had those two pieces on the disc on repeat for the best …

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Jan 07

Bartok’s Bluebeard: centenary year

2011 sees one hundred years since Bartok first began writing Bluebeard’s Castle, a dark and brooding masterpiece; begun in 1911 when Bartok was thirty, it was first performed in 1918. It’s his only opera, a one-act work in which only two characters appear on-stage: the secretive Duke and the inquisitive Judith, whose desire to discover …

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May 21

Another Adams: composer John Luther Adams.

John Luther Adams

It’s always exciting to discover a new composer whose musical language instantly appeals to you. I can still recall the exact moment when I first heard a piece by Steve Reich: Vermount Counterpoint. I was immediately hooked.  A pal at school had made a compilation tape of pieces for me, including Eight Lines, Music for …

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