Personalities | James Macmillan | Contemporary | Classical

b. 1959
Scottish composer

Widely considered Scotland’s leading living composer, Macmillan achieved almost overnight recognition with his orchestral piece The Confession of Isobel Gowdie (1990), which commemorates a victim of the seventeenth-century Scottish witch-hunts. The work embodied three themes that would establish themselves in his later output: an interest in Scottish subject-matter and folk traditions (Tuireadh, 1991; From Ayrshire, 2005), a concern for social and political justice (The Exorcism of Rio Sumpúl, 1989), and Roman Catholic theology and liturgy (Seven Last Words from the Cross, 1993; The World’s Ransoming, 1995–96; Masses and motets for liturgical use). His percussion concerto Veni, Veni Emmanuel (1991–92), written for Evelyn Glennie, has received almost 500 performances. His St John Passion (2007) was a joint commission of the London Symphony and Boston Symphony orchestras.

Recommended Recording:
The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, The World’s Ransoming, LSO (cond) Sir Colin Davis (LSO Live)

Introduction | Contemporary | Classical
Personalities | Luigi Nono | Contemporary | Classical


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