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Composer: McDowall, Cecilia

Fact file
NationalityUnited Kingdom
Period20th century
July 2018
Evening performance
Matinee performance
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GloucesterEternal Be The Sleep

Eternal Be The Sleep
Holst, Elgar, Parry, Howells, Gurney, McDowall, Browne
George Parris; Carice Singers

HerefordThree Choirs Festival Youth Choir

© Sally Corrick
McDowall, Elgar
English Symphony Orchestra; Peter Nardone; Three Choirs Festival Youth Choir
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Gabriel Jackson's Requiem makes an impression at Presteigne

Gabriel Jackson  ©  Malcolm Crowthers
It could be argued that the success of contemporary music at the Presteigne Festival is due to its promotion of composers who draw on traditional forms and tonal harmony. Perhaps, but the world of contemporary music has moved on from what some nostalgically describe as the heroic avant-garde of the 1960s and 70s.
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Born in London, England, in 1951 Cecilia McDowall has been described by the International Record Review as having ‘a communicative gift that is very rare in modern music’. Often inspired by extra-musical influences, her writing combines a rhythmic vitality with expressive lyricism and is, at times, intensely moving. She has won many awards and her works have been broadcast on BBC Radio and worldwide. She was short-listed for the 2005 British Composer Awards in two categories and short-listed again for the 2008 British Composer Awards. She has been represented at major festivals both in Britain and abroad and much of her work is on disc. A new choral disc, featuring the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir and soprano, Rachel Nicholls, was released on the Dutton Epoch label in 2009. The American choir, Phoenix Chorale, have recorded her Three Latin motets on Chandos (Spotless Rose) which won a Grammy award in 2009; they were also nominated for Best Classical Album.