Cecilia McDowall

Cecilia McDowall is a British composer.

Life and career

She has been described by the International Record Review as having 'a communicative gift that is very rare in modern music' and Gramophone has said of her that 'she has an instinctive understanding of the medium allied to the ability to speak directly to the listener wholly without artifice'. Often inspired by extra-musical influences, her writing combines a rhythmic vitality with expressive lyricism 'which is, at times, intensely moving'. She read music at the University of Edinburgh continuing her studies at Trinity College of Music, London, later completing an MMus in composition. She studied with Joseph Horovitz, Robert Saxton and Adam Gorb. She has won many awards and has been short-listed seven times for the British Composer Awards. In 2014 she won the British Composer Award for choral music.

Her music has been commissioned and performed by leading choirs, including the BBC Singers, ensembles and at major festivals both in Britain and abroad and has been broadcast on BBC Radio and worldwide.

A commission from the Portsmouth Festival Choir, The Shipping Forecast, gained national media attention, in June 2011. The work reflects the mystery and force of the sea, drawing together the poetry of Seán Street, the psalm 'They that go down to the sea in ships', and the words of the shipping forecast itself.

Recent commissions include the Musicians' Benevolent Fund St Cecilia anthem for the service of St Cecilia at St Paul's Cathedral, sung by the joint choirs of Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral, and liturgical works for Durham and Liverpool Cathedrals. Future works include commissions from the BBC for Scunthorpe Co-operative Junior Choir, the winner of the BBC Radio 3 2008 Choir of the Year: the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Jeremy Huw Williams, baritone, David Juritz, violin, conductor, Anthony Hose at the Beaumaris Festival; the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.[1] and Chorus in conjunction with the NE Community Choir for performance in Aberdeen in October, 2011: the City of London Sinfonia (a commission from the Scott Polar research Institute to celebrate the centenary of Scott's death in 1912) which will be performed in the Birmingham Symphony Hall in February, 2012; and in a new work for the 2012 Presteigne festival. The renowned American choir, Phoenix Chorale, have recorded Three Latin Motets on the Chandos label ( Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary ).This CD won a Grammy award in February, 2009, and was nominated for Best Classical Album. In 2010 Oxford University Press signed Cecilia McDowall as an 'Oxford' composer and she is currently 'composer-in-residence' at Dulwich College, London.

Selected works

Orchestral and large ensemble works
Chamber music and solo works
Choral works

Selected recordings

Notable recordings of McDowall's music include:


  1. "RSNO - Scotland's National Orchestra". Retrieved 24 January 2016.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 1/25/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.