Eminent Catholic composer Sir James MacMillan to conduct Christchurch singers

A man who has been described as one of Britain’s greatest living composers has accepted an invitation from the Christchurch Diocese Sacred Arts Team to visit.

Sir James MacMillan will conduct singers in his St Anne’s Mass at the 5.30pm Mass in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral on 23 July.

He will speak later at the Music Centre adjacent to the church. The event runs from 4-8pm, starting with rehearsals.

A CD of MacMillan’s work was recently featuring in the top ten on Radio New Zealand Concert’s Classical Chart.

He has previously conducted the NZSO, but on this visit to New Zealand he is  conducting the National Youth Orchestra.

“I have always enjoyed working with young musicians, and have written for them over the years in various ways. I’m always keen to find out what new music is like in the various countries I visit.”

“I especially enjoy performing new work by my younger colleagues”

MacMillan was first internationally recognised in 1990. His prolific work has since been performed and broadcast around the world.

He was Composer/Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic from 2000-2009 and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie until 2013.

MacMillan composed a congregational setting of the Mass which was used when Pope Benedict XVI visited the UK to beatify Blessed John Henry Newman.

He is a committed Catholic and his music reflects his Faith, Scottish heritage, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music.

The Catholic Herald  named him Catholic Herald’s Catholic of the Year 2015.

“We are honouring him for his fight against the new secular establishments, in the United Kingdom and especially in Scotland, that mock and marginalise the Catholic faith that Sir James has always upheld, whatever his political leanings.”


Image: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

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News category: New Zealand.

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