James MacMillan

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Sir James Loy MacMillan (born July 16, 1959 in Kilwinning , North Ayrshire ) is a Scottish composer and conductor of classical music .


MacMillan was born in Kilwinning , North Ayrshire but lived in South Ayrshire in the town of Cumnock until 1977 .

He studied composition at Edinburgh University with Rita McAlister and at Durham University with John Casken and received his PhD in 1987. Between 1986 and 1988 he was employed as a lecturer in music at the University of Manchester . After completing his studies, MacMillan returned to Scotland to accept a position as associate composer with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra .

MacMillan first became famous with the orchestral work The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 1990 at the Proms , a British classical music festival that lasted several weeks. The international claim of the work promoted MacMillan's fame significantly, he received several orders, including a. a concert for drums for the Scottish musician Evelyn Glennie . Veni, veni, Emmanuel was premiered in 1992 and is one of MacMillan's most performed works.


James MacMillan's compositions are permeated with spiritual and political elements. The Catholicism has contributed much to his work as MacMillan much sacred music (especially for choir composed) such. B. the Magnificat (1999), and several fairs . MacMillan and his wife belong to the Third Order of the Dominicans . MacMillan also orientates himself on traditional Scottish music, which can be heard clearly in his works. When the Scottish Parliament convened for the first time in 292 years in 1999, a fanfare composed by MacMillan accompanied Queen Elizabeth's entry into the Chamber. A few weeks after the opening ceremony, MacMillan made a public speech entitled Scotland's Shame , in which he sharply attacked sectarianism in Scotland.


James MacMillan was appointed composer and conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in 2000, a position he held until 2009. From 2009 to 2013 he was chief conductor of the Radio Kamer Filharmonie , a chamber orchestra of the Dutch radio that was dissolved in 2013 .

He continued his previous collaboration with Symmons Roberts in his second opera, the content of which is based on old Welsh tales.

His most recently premiered works are the opera The Sacrifice (Fall 2007, Welsh National Opera ) and Sundogs , a large a cappella choir, which is also based on texts by Symmons Roberts and was premiered in August 2006 by the Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, a St. John Passion , St John Passion (2008), and a violin and oboe concerto (2010).


Web links

Reviews (violin concerto)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ BBC News on August 9, 1999
  2. Eleonore Büning: Happiness is with the fearless. In: FAZ.net . February 5, 2014, accessed October 13, 2018 .
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0081t3r