James MacMillan is the pre-eminent Scottish composer of his generation * Attracted attention with acclaimed BBC Proms premiere of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie (1990) * Music combines rhythmic excitement, raw emotional power and spiritual meditation * Percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel (1992) has received over 500 performances * Extensive choral catalogue ranges from simple motets such as O Radiant Dawn (2007), through chamber choir classics including Seven Last Words from the Cross (1993), Miserere (2009) and Stabat Mater (2015), to large-scale works with orchestra such as Quickening (1998), Symphony No.5: 'Le grand Inconnu' (2018) and Christmas Oratorio (2019) * Programmed worldwide by orchestras including London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics and Cleveland Orchestra * Choirs that have championed his music include The Sixteen, Polyphony, Tenebrae and Cappella Nova * Featured composer at Edinburgh Festival (1993, 2019), Southbank Centre in London (1997), BBC Barbican Composer Weekend (2005), Grafenegg Festival (2012) and a city-wide Glasgow festival (2017) * Interpreters include soloists Evelyn Glennie, Colin Currie, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Vadim Repin, conductors Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis, Marin Alsop and Sir Donald Runnicles, choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and stage director Katie Mitchell * Recordings on BMG/RCA Red Seal, BIS, Chandos, Naxos, Hyperion, Coro, Linn, Challenge Classics and LSO Live * Founded the Cumnock Tryst festival in Scotland in 2014 * Awarded a Knighthood in the 2015 Queen's Birthday honours
Works by James MacMillan include:
Veni, Veni, Emmanuel (1992) for percussion and orchestra
Quickening (1998) for soloists, children's choir, mixed choir and orchestra
Christmas Oratorio (2019) for soloists, choir and orchestra
View our newly updated web guide to MacMillan's choral music (PDF).
Looking Ahead: residency with St Petersburg Philharmonia ends with Russian premiere of Saxophone Concerto and The Confession of Isobel Gowdie (5 Feb); German premiere of Stabat Mater with MDR Symphony Orchestra and Radio Choir at Leipzig Gewandhaus (12 Apr); new work Fiat Lux for soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, organ and orchestra, commissioned by Pacific Symphony in California (2023)
"...a composer so confident of his own musical language that he makes it instantly communicative to his listeners." — The Guardian